Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., on Sunday defended embattled Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, saying much of the scrutiny seems to be nitpicking.
"I don't know how much of it is overblown and how much of it is accurate, to be honest," Rounds said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "I'm not going to call it fake news. I'll say in some cases we'll overblow something, but in this particular case Mr. Pruitt has been doing a good job as the secretary of the EPA. He is moving forward exactly as this president said he would."
A flurry of recent stories have raised questions about some of Pruitt's spending at the EPA and elsewhere, including pay raises to top aides without approval, a $50-a-night condo lease tied to a lobbyist, repeated first class and chartered air travel, and a report that the EPA spent millions on a 20-member full-time security detail three times the size of his predecessor's, and more.
"Oh, he has too big of a security detail? Is that suddenly the reason why you fire someone?" the South Dakota senator asked. "We'll nitpick little things — 'he has too many people on his security detail' — but what about how he's taking care of the taxpayers' dollars with the EPA, and what about the regulations that he said he's going to clean up on?"