Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt became the latest member of the Trump administration to face an angry showdown with a member of the public. Pruitt was dining with a friend at Teaism restaurant in Washington DC on Monday, when a local teacher approached and urged him to resign.
“I just wanted to urge you to resign, because of what you’re doing to the environment in our country,” Mink said, holding her two-year-old son and a notepad, as her husband recorded the encounter.
The New York Post reports,
Speaking to The Post, the 33-year-old mom from Silver Spring, Maryland explained that her husband pointed out Pruitt and her first reaction was, “He’s the worst.”
“I had to decide what to say, he’s so scandal-ridden,” Mink said. “I jotted down just a couple points that I wanted to make to him that were a little on the specific side.”
When she approached him, she said she was nervous. “This is not my wheelhouse, confronting people in a restaurant,” Mink explained.
Mink mentioned Pruitt’s $50 a night sweetheart apartment deal and his plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards.
“This is my son, he loves animals, he loves clean air, he loves clean water,” she said to Pruitt. “So I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out,” she told the EPA head.
“He literally said nothing,” she told The Post. “He had no response, he had no defense, he had no apology, he did no explaining, he did no denying.”
Mink later posted the video on Facebook and Twitter explaining that Pruitt had been sitting three tables away from her as she ate lunch with her family.
“I had to say something,” she said.
Mink said Pruitt and his lunch partner left after the confrontation.
Pruitt’s spokesman claimed he didn’t leave because of Mink, and he also thanked her after she was done.
“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,” EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson told The Post.
“His leaving had nothing to do with the confrontation, he had simply finished his meal and needed to get back to the EPA for a briefing.”
Pruitt’s plate was covered in napkins – a sign that he had finished his meal – during the encounter.
Mink teaches sixth grade at Sidwell Friends – the tony school where President Obama sent his two daughters – according to the school’s website and her Facebook account.
She told The Post she’s been protesting the Trump administration, including getting arrested at the Hart Senate Office Building last week over the policy to separate parents and children at the U.S. southern border.
“This wasn’t planned or organized, I literally just saw him and said you are the man who is ruining the future, for the children, for the next generation,” Mink said, explaining she did what she did not as an activist but as a “mom and citizen.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pruitt’s awkward restaurant encounter came after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, by the eatery’s owner last month.
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