Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told an Oklahoma radio show in 2016 he believed then-candidate Donald Trump was an “empty vessel” on the Constitution and the rule of law.
“I think he’s an empty vessel when it comes to things like the Constitution and rule of law,” Pruitt told the “Exploring Energy” radio show in February 2016, according to CNN. “I’m very concerned that perhaps if he’s in the White House, that there may be a very blunt instrument as the voice of the Constitution.”
“This president, the one we have there now, has at least tried to nuance his unlawfulness," he said of President Barack Obama. "He at least sits back and says, ‘How do we break the law and do so where it’s really tough to show that we have?’ I’m not sure that Donald Trump would."
Pruitt, who initially supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the 2016 president campaign, said since that he believes Trump “has demonstrated and really responded to the frustration that people have," and understands "we need action and authenticity in the process." He also said he believed Trump “would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama.”
Pruitt’s comments about Trump made during the 2016 campaign had been previously unreported.
Pruitt told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing last week he didn’t “echo that today at all.”
In response to the unearthed video, the EPA released a prior statement that praised Trump and called him the “most consequential leader of our time.”
“No one has done more to advance the rule of law than President Trump,” he said. “The president has liberated our country from the political class and given America back to the people.”