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Tue May 1, 2018, 07:44 PM

Lobbyist helped arrange Scott Pruitt's $100,000 trip to Morocco

MARRAKESH, Morocco — A controversial trip to Morocco by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt last December was partly arranged by a longtime friend and lobbyist, who accompanied Pruitt and his entourage at multiple stops and served as an informal liaison at both official and social events during the visit.

Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist who has known the EPA administrator for years, worked for months with Pruitt’s aides to hammer out logistics, according to four individuals familiar with those preparations. In April, Smotkin won a $40,000-a-month contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, with the Moroccan government to promote the kingdom’s cultural and economic interests. He recently registered as a foreign agent representing that government.

The four-day journey has drawn scrutiny from lawmakers and the EPA inspector general, who is investigating its high costs and whether it adhered to the agency’s mission to “protect human health and the environment.”

Information obtained by The Washington Post shows the visit’s cost exceeded $100,000, more than twice what has been previously reported — including $16,217 for Pruitt’s Delta airfare and $494 for him to spend one night at a luxury hotel in Paris. He was accompanied by eight staffers and his round-the-clock security detail.

Smotkin’s role in arranging the whirlwind visit was highly unusual, ethics experts say, and raises many questions. Federal laws prohibit public officials from using government resources to financially benefit friends, relatives or other people with whom they have personal connections.


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Reply Lobbyist helped arrange Scott Pruitt's $100,000 trip to Morocco (Original post)
Demovictory9 May 2018 OP
Eliot Rosewater May 2018 #1
Leighbythesea May 2018 #2

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2018, 07:46 PM

1. No biggie, I mean sure if this was Hillary's EPA secty the entire nation would have to

stop functioning, and the people involved would have to be removed and banished for life



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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2018, 09:02 PM

2. A friend of mine, long time repub AND lobbyist

Brought this up the last time I saw him. Unsolicited. He was digusted and distressed. Of course he's well versed the role lobbyist play in politics, but said so many aspects of this were dumb, obvious, sloppy and beyond the pale. Starting with Morocco, as a destination in the first place.

I listened, and could mostly relate as a business traveler--those things you do as established protocol, and those things you never do. They made a mockery of protocol.

And then there's the actual premise of trip. Article says it was to discuss US natural gas, and possibly exporting it to Morroco. Also that Smotkin was present at nearly every meeting, suggesting Pruitt was promoting gains for a private citizen. A definite problem.

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