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August 10 2019
Former E.P.A. administrator Scott Pruitt testifying at a Senate budget hearing in 2018, back when he faced multiple federal ethics investigations for lavish misspending.

It could be said that Trump’s unlikeliest promise was that he’d surround himself “only with the best and most serious people.” It could also be said that the revolving door of these “top of the line professionals” has been the most consistent aspect of his presidency. But with the astonishing speed at which he burns through them—his staff turnover rate is higher than that of each of the five most recent presidents, according to a report from the Brookings Institution—there’s been scant opportunity to remember the fallen. So many scoundrels, so little time.

So, each week we’ll be checking in on one of those junketeers to see how comfortably he or she has settled back into the swamp. First up: Scott Pruitt. You remember Pruitt. The former E.P.A. chief resigned one year ago after racking up an almighty tab that included more than $900,000 on travel, $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office, $1,560 on 12 fountain pens, courtside basketball tickets—a gift from a billionaire coal magnate—and so much more. (Pruitt denied wrongdoing and as far as we can tell, he never did manage to nab that used Trump Hotel mattress or a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife.)

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