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Lawmakers grill EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over ethics scandals, spending

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In an exchange with Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., Pruitt said that it has not be certified as a SCIF, or a sensitive compartmented information facility, but he said it does provide protection on confidential communications. The purchase, Pruitt said, occurred after he received a phone call of a sensitive nature and did not have access to secure communications. He said he hadn’t heard the price tag in advance, and if he had, he would have “refused it.”

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., told Pruitt the phone booth was a “waste of funds.”

“Isn’t there other secure locations within your agency? Why did we need to spend taxpayer funds to build a new secure place for making telephone calls?” Lance said. “There are already secure locations and I think it was a waste of funds.”

Added Costello, “I believe you’ve demonstrated, or you’ve not demonstrated, the requisite degree of judgment required of an appointed executive branch official on some of these spending items.”

Still, many Republicans defended the embattled administrator. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Ohio, said that it’s “shameful” that the hearing had turned into a “personal attack” against Pruitt, while Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said that Pruitt is not the “first person to be a victim” of Washington politics.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., praised Pruitt’s record as EPA chief so far, arguing that the “greatest sin” that he has committed is fulfilling Trump’s agenda to roll back environmental regulations.

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Verhofstadt admits 'EU needs real reboot' as he welcomes Biden – 'Can't solve our problem'

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GUY VERHOFSTADT admitted the EU needs a “real reboot” as he congratulated Joe Biden on his inauguration day, warning the new US President “cannot solve Europe’s problems”.

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Irony is dead! EU official orders UK to stop interfering with Brussels' sovereignty

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BRUSSELS has made an incredible demand for the UK to “respect its autonomy” in an incredible outburst – despite failing to recognise Britain’s own sovereignty throughout Brexit talks.

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Joe Biden and Boris Johnson 'in touch' to discuss prospects of 'exciting' new alliance

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JOE BIDEN and Boris Johnson have already been in touch to forge an “exciting” new alliance between the United States and Britain, according to the Home Secretary.

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