‘You can’t abuse taxpayer money’: GOP’s Kennedy on Pruitt


Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana criticized Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for his spending habits and other behavior during his time leading the agency but said the decision whether to fire him should be left up to President Donald Trump.

“This money didn’t fall from heaven, we thank heaven for it but it came out of people’s pockets, it’s what the swamp is all about,” Kennedy told ABC News’ Rick Klein on the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast Wednesday, “If you don’t respect taxpayer money, you’re not qualified to serve in my opinion.”

Pruitt has faced a wave of criticism following an ABC News report that he’d been renting a room for $50 a night in a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist, as well as other news reports that he circumvented the White House to give pay raises to several staffers and spent excessive amounts of money on travel and security personnel.

Kennedy said he would be saying the same thing if an appointee of the Obama administration had been accused of similar conduct, and said Pruitt “can’t go around acting like a big shot,” and not expect pushback.

“There’s no excuse, I don’t care what party you’re in or who you are, you can’t abuse taxpayer money,” Kennedy said, “I’m not saying people don’t make mistakes, they do. But when there’s a pattern, that’s misbehavior, and as far as I’m concerned – I don’t know if chucklehead is the right word but people need to behave.”

Kennedy also said he expects that Ret. Gen. John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, is “not amused” but the allegations dogging Pruitt, and is “trying to get it under control.”

When asked about the controversy surrounding President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ronny Jackson, Kennedy said he does not know if Jackson is qualified to lead the department, but was reserving judgment until Jackson’s confirmation hearing.

“I don’t know Dr. Jackson, but he deserves his day in court and I’m looking forward to it,” Kennedy said, “I just want to give him a fair chance.”

Kennedy also offered cautious praise of French President Emmanuel Macron, who he described as “very smart” and “a good politician,” but as someone who he disagrees with on some matters of foreign policy.

“Macron is a charming guy, he’s a good politician and I don’t mean that in a pejorative sense,” Kennedy said of the French leader who addressed Congress Wednesday afternoon, “[He’s] is bright but he’s a little young and it’s just been my experience that some folks you can’t reason with, like President Putin.”

Kennedy, who attended the state dinner for Macron and his wife Tuesday evening at the White House, heaped praise on first lady Melania Trump for what he called a “great evening.”

“I was very proud that she is the first lady of the United States. I talked with her before, she’s extremely intelligent, she’s fluent in a number of languages, I have trouble with English. She just did a magnificent job and I thought she was beautiful,” Kennedy said.

The Louisiana Republican did tepidly critique the Jambalaya served at the state dinner, referring to it as “Washington Jambalaya,” but said he enjoyed all the other items on the menu Tuesday night.

“The lamb was delicious, had some goat cheese. We had Jambalaya, the Washington Jambalaya. I don’t usually eat desserts but the dessert was good. I’m not a big drinker but the wine was excellent. It was just a great evening and I think everybody had a good time.” Kennedy said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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‘You can’t abuse taxpayer money’: GOP’s Kennedy on Pruitt


Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana criticized Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for his spending habits and other behavior during his time leading the agency but said the decision whether to fire him should be left up to President Donald Trump.

“This money didn’t fall from heaven, we thank heaven for it but it came out of people’s pockets, it’s what the swamp is all about,” Kennedy told ABC News’ Rick Klein on the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast Wednesday, “If you don’t respect taxpayer money, you’re not qualified to serve in my opinion.”

Pruitt has faced a wave of criticism following an ABC News report that he’d been renting a room for $50 a night in a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist, as well as other news reports that he circumvented the White House to give pay raises to several staffers and spent excessive amounts of money on travel and security personnel.

Kennedy said he would be saying the same thing if an appointee of the Obama administration had been accused of similar conduct, and said Pruitt “can’t go around acting like a big shot,” and not expect pushback.

“There’s no excuse, I don’t care what party you’re in or who you are, you can’t abuse taxpayer money,” Kennedy said, “I’m not saying people don’t make mistakes, they do. But when there’s a pattern, that’s misbehavior, and as far as I’m concerned – I don’t know if chucklehead is the right word but people need to behave.”

Kennedy also said he expects that Ret. Gen. John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, is “not amused” but the allegations dogging Pruitt, and is “trying to get it under control.”

When asked about the controversy surrounding President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ronny Jackson, Kennedy said he does not know if Jackson is qualified to lead the department, but was reserving judgment until Jackson’s confirmation hearing.

“I don’t know Dr. Jackson, but he deserves his day in court and I’m looking forward to it,” Kennedy said, “I just want to give him a fair chance.”

Kennedy also offered cautious praise of French President Emmanuel Macron, who he described as “very smart” and “a good politician,” but as someone who he disagrees with on some matters of foreign policy.

“Macron is a charming guy, he’s a good politician and I don’t mean that in a pejorative sense,” Kennedy said of the French leader who addressed Congress Wednesday afternoon, “[He’s] is bright but he’s a little young and it’s just been my experience that some folks you can’t reason with, like President Putin.”

Kennedy, who attended the state dinner for Macron and his wife Tuesday evening at the White House, heaped praise on first lady Melania Trump for what he called a “great evening.”

“I was very proud that she is the first lady of the United States. I talked with her before, she’s extremely intelligent, she’s fluent in a number of languages, I have trouble with English. She just did a magnificent job and I thought she was beautiful,” Kennedy said.

The Louisiana Republican did tepidly critique the Jambalaya served at the state dinner, referring to it as “Washington Jambalaya,” but said he enjoyed all the other items on the menu Tuesday night.

“The lamb was delicious, had some goat cheese. We had Jambalaya, the Washington Jambalaya. I don’t usually eat desserts but the dessert was good. I’m not a big drinker but the wine was excellent. It was just a great evening and I think everybody had a good time.” Kennedy said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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