THE BLIZZARD of ethical questions surrounding Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has become a Category 5 storm. Already facing big questions about his wasteful spending and relationships with lobbyists, Mr. Pruitt intensified his problems by dishonestly blaming his staff for one major ethical failure. Then the New York Times revealed that staffers who tried to rein in Mr. Pruitt’s unnecessary spending were punished. More than ever, it is clear that Mr. Pruitt is unfit to serve.
Mr. Pruitt, who has eschewed contact with mainstream media in favor of sympathetic conservative outlets, took to Fox News on Wednesday to defend himself. But under questioning from Fox News’s Ed Henry, Mr. Pruitt was unable to explain how two of his favorite staffers got massive, unauthorized pay raises that the White House had previously rejected. The administrator claimed he did not know who on his staff was responsible for the end run around the White House and that he only heard about the raises the previous day. Yet The Post’s Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis and Josh Dawsey reported subsequently that Mr. Pruitt had, in fact, ordered the raises. It is still unclear how involved he was in circumventing the White House’s rejection of those raises, but his total denial of responsibility on Fox News does not square with the reported record.