Following recent calls for critics to harass and protest members of the Trump administration in public, one D.C.-area mother shared video of her confrontation with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt this week.
The embattled official, who is at the center of a widening congressional ethics probe, was eating a table near Kristin Mink at a restaurant on Monday, according to the woman’s Facebook post.
“I introduced my 2-year-old and told Pruitt my son loves animals, breathing clean air, and drinking clean water,” she wrote. “He got up and left.”
The video that followed reveals Pruitt sat quietly as Mink delivered a rebuke of his service thus far at the helm of the EPA.
“I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you’re doing to the environment and our country,” she began.
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Glancing repeatedly at what appeared to be notes in her hand, Mink listed off several complaints before again asking Pruitt to step down from the position.
“We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who does believe in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us — including our children,” she said. “So I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”
The video cut off at that point, but Mink ended it with another message indicating “Cowardly Pruitt” did not respond and his party “fled” the restaurant before she could return to her seat.
A Pruitt spokesperson provided a different account of how the encounter ended.
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“Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans, whether they agree or disagree with the decisions being made at the EPA,” said Lincoln Pruitt. “This is evident by him listening to her comments and going on to thank her, which is not shown in the video.”
As for Pruitt leaving abruptly after the confrontation, Pruitt said the exit had “nothing to do” with Mink but that “he had simply finished his meal and needed to get back to EPA for a briefing.”
Mink concluded with the URL address for a campaign to force Pruitt from office and a reiteration of the call issued last month by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters.
“As citizens, it is our responsibility to confront corrupt, unethical, and immoral government officials whenever and wherever we see them,” she wrote.
Many Democrats have pushed back against the rhetoric of Waters and others, insisting that political differences with the Trump administration should be handled with civility.
Senate Minority Leader Schumer makes a plea for civility while delivering speech on Senate floor: https://t.co/B6QhEm99IR
“No one should call for the harassment of political opponents, that’s not right, that’s not American.” pic.twitter.com/SkBLJvrRCr
— The Breaking News (@thebrkg) June 26, 2018
“No one should call for the harassment of political opponents,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said last month. “That’s not right, that’s not American.”
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