This EPA spokesperson is done defending Scott Pruitt. - Grist


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This EPA spokesperson is done defending Scott Pruitt.

As the agency’s top public affairs official, Liz Bowman faced a difficult job. Pruitt is now the subject of 11 federal investigations.

While Bowman says she is leaving to spend more time with her kids, an EPA source told CNN that Bowman was tired of the scandals and “increasingly wary of being associated with Pruitt.”

She is the third top aide to leave the EPA this week, following the resignations of Pasquale Perrotta, Pruitt’s chief of security, and Albert Kelly, who ran the Superfund program. Last Thursday in front of Congress, Pruitt blamed his subordinates for the problems plaguing the agency. Coincidence?

The EPA press office took a Trumpian turn under Bowman’s leadership, and she became known for her snarky comments to journalists:

  • When the New York Times asked for comment about Pruitt’s unusual security measures last August, Bowman denied everything that employees had told them, adding: “It’s very disappointing, yet not surprising, to learn that you would solicit leaks, and collude with union officials in an effort to distract from the work we are doing to implement the president’s agenda.”
  • In October, she blew off a request for comment from the Times’ Eric Lipton with this doozy: “No matter how much information we give you, you would never write a fair piece. The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.”
  • After months of this sort of treatment, the Society of Environmental Journalists wrote to the EPA in January requesting more transparency. Bowman wrote back, “The Trump EPA … has provided regional and national journalists — from the New York Times to the Daily Caller — with an unprecedented amount of access.”

Well, this EPA’s relationship with the media is certainly “unprecedented.”

We haven’t heard the last of Bowman. She has a new gig as communications director for Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa.