EPA's Pruitt Confronted While Dining at DC Restaurant

Kristin Mink wrote in a Facebook post that Pruitt was having lunch three tables away from her and felt she "had to say something"

Another member of President Donald Trump's administration was confronted while dining at a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was eating lunch at Teaism in Penn Quarter Monday when a woman carrying her young son confronted the scandal-plagued chief and urged him to resign.

Kristin Mink, a schoolteacher according to her Facebook profile, posted a video of the interaction on her Facebook page. 

Mink wrote on the social media site that Pruitt was having lunch three tables away from her and felt she "had to say something."

"This man is directly and significantly harming my child’s — and every child’s — health and future with decisions to roll back environmental regulations for the benefit of big corporations, while he uses taxpayer money to fund a lavish lifestyle," Mink wrote. "He’s corrupt, he’s a liar, he’s a climate change denier, and as a public servant, he should not be able to go out in public without hearing from the citizens he’s hurting."

In the video, Mink introduces herself to Pruitt, who was sitting at the table with a guest, and urges him to resign "because of what you're doing to the environment and our country."

"This is my son. He loves animals, he loves clean air, he loves clean water," Mink tells Pruitt in the video.

The mother criticized Pruitt for cutting fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, leasing a $50-a-night room — well below market rate — in a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist, "while approving our dirty sands pipeline," as the EPA head and his guest sat stunned at the table.

"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all us, including our children," Mink says. "I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out."

The video cuts off at the end of Mink's comments. Mink says Pruitt did not respond and got up and left the restaurant.

But EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson told NBC News in an emailed response that Pruitt thanked Mink for her comments before leaving the restaurant.

"Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans, whether they agree or disagree with the decisions being made at EPA. This is evident by him listening to her comments and going on to thank her, which is not shown in the video," Ferguson wrote. "His leaving had nothing to do with the confrontation, he had simply finished his meal and needed to get back to EPA for a briefing."

Last month, the EPA's chief ethics official said he was pushing for a series of independent investigations into Pruitt's actions.

In a letter to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, EPA ethics official Kevin Minoli wrote that "potential issues" regarding Pruitt have surfaced through sources within the EPA and media reports since April. 

News media have reported Pruitt's rental of a condo from a lobbyist's spouse, his use of staff to handle personal matters and other practices. Pruitt faces more than a dozen federal inquiries into his spending and management practices as EPA administrator, according to The New York Times.

Pruitt is not the first member of the Trump administration to be publicly confronted while dining out.  

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted last month that she was at Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, when she was asked to leave by its owner because she worked for Trump's administration. 

The restaurant's co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, told The Washington Post that her reasons for booting Sanders included the concerns of employees who were gay and knew Sanders had defended Trump's desire to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Earlier that week, Trump's homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, cut short a working dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington after protesters shouted, "Shame!'' until she left. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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