Another day, another controversy surrounding embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt.
Pruitt, whose list of ethical scandals is at least 23 pages long, held a hearing on widespread contaminants in drinking water Tuesday morning. Prior to holding the summit, Pruitt had faced criticism over revelations that the EPA looked to interfere in a study on the issue.
Well, with the EPA under fire ahead of Tuesday morning’s meeting, news organizations found themselves barred from entering the hearing. According to the Associated Press, the EPA prevented reporters from CNN, AP, and E&E from attending the meeting, with a spokesperson saying they were not invited and there was no space for them.”
The AP also reported that one of their reporters was removed by force when she tried to enter:
“Guards barred an AP reporter from passing through a security checkpoint inside the building. When the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, the security guards grabbed the reporter by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out of the EPA building.”
NBC News’ Hallie Jackson received a statement from an EPA spokesperson about the incident, claiming the reporter threatened “negative coverage” if she wasn’t allowed to attend.
EPA spox tells me the reporter “was not invited” and threatened negative coverage if she wasn’t allowed in. “We provided a livestream.” When asked how that excuses physically grabbing a reporter, he indicated he wasn’t involved in that and would get back to me. https://t.co/goUIVs19Xd
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) May 22, 2018
The EPA flack didn’t provide Jackson with an answer when she asked how any of that excuses physically grabbing a reporter.
Anyway, I would venture to say that the negative coverage has already been received due to the EPA security guards manhandling a reporter.