On Monday, Scott Pruitt fled a restaurant in Washington after he was confronted during lunch by a mother and teacher named Kristin Mink. Mink was holding her 2-year-old son when she went up to his table. Video of the interaction has since gone viral. We speak to Mink about what she did and Pruitt’s resignation just days later.
More from this Interview
- Part 1: As Scott Pruitt Resigns, Former EPA Officials Warn His Radical, Anti-Science Agenda Harmed Nation
- Part 2: Meet the Mother Who Confronted Scott Pruitt & Urged Him to Resign—Three Days Later, He Did
- Part 3: New EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler, Former Coal Lobbyist, Aims to Continue to Dismantle EPA from Inside
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our coverage of EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s resignation. On Monday, Pruitt fled a restaurant in Washington, after he was confronted during lunch by our next guest, Kristin Mink. At the time, Mink was holding her 2-year-old son when she went up to Pruitt’s table. She posted a video of their interaction online.
KRISTIN MINK: This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you’re slashing strong fuel standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations. You’ve been paying about 50 bucks a night to stay in a D.C. condo that’s connected to an energy lobbying firm, while approving their dirty sands pipeline. We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children. So, I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.
AMY GOODMAN: So, Kristin Mink, there you’re demanding that Pruitt resign. You think he was just following orders on Thursday?
KRISTIN MINK: No, no. I wish I could take credit for that, but there have been activists, scientists, whistleblowers, investigative journalists, who have been working on Scott Pruitt and getting him out of this position for a very long time. So I’m happy to be a very, very small part of bringing some additional heat on him this week.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about your reaction when Trump tweeted he was out.
KRISTIN MINK: Yeah, I mean, initially, of course, I was elated. I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. That, of course, faded very quickly when I saw who Trump had appointed in his place, Senate confirmed already, Andy Wheeler, a coal lobbyist. I mean, it sounds like a bad joke, but there you are.
AMY GOODMAN: And why were you most concerned? And did you actually just bump into him in the restaurant?
KRISTIN MINK: Yeah, I mean, he was there eating lunch just a few tables away. My husband noticed him. I knew right away that I had to say something to him, because this is the man who’s undermining our future. And there he was. And I know that he is notoriously hard to get a hold of. He’s pretty private. He doesn’t like to, you know, release his schedule ahead of the time to the press. He spends taxpayer dollars so he can sit first class on planes, so he doesn’t have to interact with people who can’t afford to sit in first class. So, you know, here I had an opportunity to have a conversation with him, and I was certainly going to take it.
Now, of course, I mentioned some of those scandals, like his misspending of taxpayer dollars. But like Mustafa Ali and Chris mentioned, like that’s not the biggest problem here. That’s what made it easier to get him out of his position, but the problem is his policies. The problem is his agenda. And that is exactly in line with Trump’s agenda. It’s exactly in line with Andy Wheeler’s agenda. So we’re left with the same problem that we had when Scott Pruitt was appointed. He was appointed to dismantle the EPA from the inside. He was extremely effective at doing that. And Andy Wheeler is likely to be possibly even better at that, because Scott Pruitt was not well liked, and Andy Wheeler is. He’s a Washington insider. He knows a lot of people. He already has wielded a lot of influence there. He has friends. So he’s another person who we can say is not going to be there to support the interests of the American people. He’s going to be there to support his own interests and the interests of, you know, big business.