Kristin Mink approached head of US Environmental Protection Agency while holding her son and listed reasons he should resign
“Hi! I just wanted to urge you to resign,” the schoolteacher Kristin Mink said as she approached Scott Pruitt at a Washington DC restaurant on Monday, apparently unfazed by Pruitt’s lunch partner and two security guards.
“This is my son,” Mink told the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency while holding her two-year-old in her arms.
“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.”
Pruitt, who has weakened US environmental regulations and has bluntly refused to acknowledge climate change science, appeared speechless as Mink spent about 90 seconds listing some of the numerous misuse of funds and corruption scandals he has also faced since becoming head of the EPA under Donald Trump.
“You’ve been paying about 50 bucks a night to stay in a DC condo that’s connected to an energy lobbying firm, while approving their dirty sands pipeline,” she said, referring to the home Pruitt stayed in last year, paying way below market rates to Vicki Hart, the wife of energy lobbyist J Steven Hart.
“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,” Mink said. “So, I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”
According to Mink, who teaches at Sidwell Friends, the Washington DC school where Barack Obama sent his two daughters, Pruitt then left the restaurant with his companion and did not respond to her.
Mink later told the New York Post she was nervous about the confrontation but had jotted down a few notes before she went over to speak to him. “I had to decide what to say, he’s so scandal-ridden,” she said. “This is not my wheelhouse, confronting people in a restaurant.”
Last month, the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia asked Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, to leave, because staff felt they could not serve her in good conscience after she defended the president’s attempt to ban transgender people from the US military.
The restaurant has since been besieged by protesters and death threats. It has been forced to close for security reasons.
Last month, the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, was met with chants of “Shame!” as protesters interrupted her visit to MXDC, a Mexican restaurant. Nielsen was a staunch defender of the administration’s policy of forcibly separating children from their parents after they enter the US illegally.
Pruitt’s conduct in office has made him the subject of at least 12 separate investigations by the Government Accountability Office, the White House Office of Management and Budget, the US Office of Special Counsel, two House committees and the EPA inspector general.
He has also said climate change may be good for the environment.