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Vox Sentences: We’ve lost count of all the Scott Pruitt scandals

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is embroiled in yet another scandal; Malaysia’s former prime minister has been arrested.

Another day, another Pruitt scandal

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Scott Pruitt has been caught in what seems like the millionth round of scandals since he started serving as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. [Mic / Emily C. Singer]
  • Two of Pruitt’s top aides recently told congressional investigators about his alleged unethical practices while heading the EPA. This includes instructing aides to get his wife a $200,000 job, asking aides to spend time on other personal tasks and — despite their objections — booking very high-end travel arrangements. [Washington Post / Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Brady Dennis]
  • In one particularly egregious instance, Pruitt made aide Sydney Hupp pay $600 for his hotel room on her personal credit card. He then failed to properly reimburse her. [Vox / Li Zhou]
  • Kevin Chmielewski, a former deputy chief of staff for operations, admitted that Pruitt instructed aides to create a secret calendar “to overtly hide controversial meetings or calls.” [CNN / Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine, and Drew Griffin]
  • The list of his alleged prior offenses seems so endless, there isn’t enough room in Sentences to recap them all — let alone touch on a few. Let’s just say they are diverse, extensive, and have resulted in more than a dozen investigations. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • All the while, Pruitt is still ravaging the environment. He gave a Utah oil company exemptions from smog rules that prevent illnesses like asthma, according to newly released emails. [Politico / Emily Holden]
  • Trump once said that he was so popular he could “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing support. The same might go for Pruitt. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • It doesn’t seem like Trump will ask Pruitt to resign anytime soon. Instead, a teacher carrying her 2-year-old son who saw Pruitt at a restaurant did. [USA Today / Ashley May]

Former Malaysian PM arrested for stealing millions

  • Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested by anti-corruption forces on June 3 for allegedly embezzling $700 million from a state development fund. [BBC]
  • There are billions of dollars unaccounted for in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state development fund Najib set up himself. American prosecutors allege $4.5 billion was laundered and at least $730 million went directly into Najib’s pockets. [NYT / Hannah Beech and Austin Ramzy]
  • Najib allegedly spent that money on precious diamonds, homes in New York and Los Angeles, and investments for a Hollywood production company that produced The Wolf of Wall Street. [Quartz / Tripti Lahiri]
  • Najib maintained his innocence in the only interview he’s given since his stunning loss in May’s Malaysian election. [The Guardian / Hannah Ellis-Petersen]
  • The Malaysian Bar said that the 1MDB task force has “no legal standing to arrest” Najib. They are “shocked and troubled” by the arrest. [Channel NewsAsia]
  • Najib previously seemed impossible to take down. [The Diplomat / Luke Hunt]


  • Samsung phones are texting users’ photographs to random contacts without their permission. We’re not going to spell out which kinds of photos you should probably delete ... but you should probably delete those photos. [The Verge / Ashley Carman]
  • People are shocked and outraged after a woman was thoroughly injured while trying to feed a shark. They’re surprised that a wild animal would do animalistic things, apparently. [Vice / Allison Tierney]
  • Paramount has released their first, powerful trailer for the upcoming Trayvon Martin docuseries. The series is produced by Martin’s parents and rapper Jay-Z. [Vulture / Halle Kiefer]
  • A woman with a 50-pound ovarian cyst — the largest her doctor has ever seen — was initially told to lose weight while seeking medical attention. This is just further proof that fatphobia and misogyny are rampant in the medical industry. [Buzzfeed / Lauren Strapagiel]


“Whatever the outcome, show humility. It’s O.K. to be unskilled, even to fail publicly.”

[Malia Wollan learning from John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, about throwing the ceremonial first pitch / NYT Magazine]

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