Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt had reservations about Donald Trump becoming president before he won the White House in 2016, according to the audio from an interview with Trump's EPA chief released Tuesday.
“Donald Trump in the White House would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama,” Pruitt said in the audio of the interview released by the advocacy group Documented.
“If Donald Trump is the nominee and eventually the president, he would take, I think, unapologetic steps to use executive power to confront Congress in a way that is truly unconstitutional,” Pruitt said, according to the audio. The interview was conducted Feb. 4, 2016 in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Pat Campbell radio show.
Documented released the audio as Pruitt was testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday, where Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., brought it up.
Pruitt said “I don’t echo that today at all.”
Whitehouse quipped, “I bet not.”
Later, the EPA released a statement from Pruitt, calling Trump the "most consequential leader of our time." Pruitt said that observation is now "abundantly clear," especially [a]fter meeting him, and now having the honor of working for him."
Pruitt added: "No one has done more to advance the rule of law than President Trump. The President has liberated our country from the political class and given America back to the people.”
The group Dcoumented said the audio proves "Pruitt never was a Trump supporter."
Instead, Pruitt's loyalty has been to fossil fuel companies that "funded his political career" when he was attorney general of Oklahoma.
The group Documented describes itself as a group focused on "how corporations manipulate public policy that harms our environment, communities and democracy.”