MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Scott Pruitt's Newest Scandal Involves a Salty Practice Called 'Ratfucking'

The EPA administrator's perks now include a $43,000 phone booth, a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, and ratfucking.

While being scrutinized for exorbitant spending habits, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt faces new controversy as a report from The Daily Beast alleges that Pruitt was personally involved in the "ratfucking" of a former aide.

"Ratfucking," as described by former EPA officials, is a retaliatory campaign that involves calling potential employers to tarnish a former employee's reputation. The practice is generally used after said employee falls out of favor with an influential boss. In the case of former EPA Scheduling Director Millan Hupp, this moment may have occurred after she testified before Congress that Pruitt had her perform odd personal tasks such as a buying a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel.

The fallout from the testimony nearly cost Hupp her reputation:

According to three sources familiar with the conversations, Pruitt was livid over Hupp's testimony, which he felt had been particularly humiliating. And he personally reached out to allies in the conservative movement, including some at the influential legal group the Federalist Society, to insist that she had lied about, or at least misunderstood, the request for a used Trump mattress. He also stressed that Hupp could not be trusted—the implication being that she should not be hired at their perspective institutions.

The report goes on to claim that Hupp is not the only aide to receive such treatment. Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff, accused Pruitt of retaliation following accusations that he leaked information on Pruitt's egregious spending. The Daily Beast's source claimed that Pruitt tasked current employees with leaking information about Chmielewski's own work habits.

The allegation of retaliation joins growing list of Pruitt scandals, which include the commissioning of a $43,000 phone booth and the use of his position to try to obtain a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife. Pruitt is also accused of excluding certain journalists, namely those perceived to be 'unfriendly,' from covering a National Leadership Summit.

Reason's Ronald Bailey observed in May that Pruitt's tactics have quickly undermined his reputation as a deregulatory reformer in the EPA.

Photo Credit: KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    So, it's not sheep fucking anymore?

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    I've heard that all versions of Tony, past, present, future, and other-dimensional, have engaged in sheep fucking.

  • Agammamon||

    Its what links them along the central finite curve.

  • SRoach||

    No, that's what both sides to do the populace.

  • Citizen X||

    According to certain members of the commentariat, "ratfucking" is an exceedingly rare term that only Dave Weigel has ever used. We are therefore forced to conclude that Zuri Davis, the Daily Beast, and the entire bureaucratic apparatus of the EPA are in fact Dave Weigel.

  • Jordan||

    According to certain delusional members of the commentariat, anybody who disagrees with conservative orthodoxy in any way is Dave Weigel.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought Mary Stack was Michael Hihn.

  • Agammamon||

    Yes. Except when she's Tulpa.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Dave Weigel contains multitudes. It is known.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I've never heard an actual normal human being use this term "ratfucker" or "ratfucking" in the course of a normal everyday conversation, ever in my entire life.

    The only people who seem to use this term (sometimes with gusto) are liberal members of the JournoList. I wonder if perhaps it's because of its origins with Woodward and Bernstein and the Watergate era, and you guys all fantasize about becoming the next Woodward or Bernstein because they're your heroes.

    Because you yourself are a JournoList and reside in this insular little media bubble, you probably think everyone talks this way. I'm telling you that this isn't the case. If you said this in a conversation with a normal group of people that had nothing whatsoever to do with the liberal media or D.C. politics, they would look at you funny and have absolutely no clue whatsoever what the hell you were talking about.

  • Citizen X||

    Your experience defines reality for everyone, Simple Mikey.

  • Jerryskids||

    Is the term "ratfucking" within the government related in some way to the proverbial monkey fucking a football? I've often seen that term applied to government. Mostly by me.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Ratfucking? Pffft. Real men fuck whales.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Are you saying John McAfee is your mom? He truly is "the most interesting man in the world," not that phony from the Dos Equis adds.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Ah, so your mom's a whale. I got it.

  • Harvard||

    Beginning to like this guy the more I hear.

  • damikesc||

    If he was ineffective, the press and the Left (I repeat myself) wouldn't give two shits about this.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Hey!

    Want some jenkem with that helping of ratfucking?

    gullible morons..............

  • SIV||

    #MAGA

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    You know that marijuana initiative we just passed in Oklahoma?

    That was supposed to be on the ballot back in 2016. I remember signing the petition for it. Anyway, the way initiatives are shown on the ballot in Oklahoma is with a paragraph or two summarizing the proposed law in a clear way that should be easy for voters to understand. The Oklahoma Attorney General has the job of approving the wording to make it sure it's clear and not misleading.

    But the Attorney General back in 2016 didn't want any sort of legal pot in Oklahoma, so he insisted on changing the description to make it sound much scarier. The people who created the initiative sued and it went to the State Supreme Court, who ruled against the Attorney General. But that took until 2017, so the vote had to be rescheduled for 2018. (And apparently, it was that horrible Mary Fallin who scheduled it for a June primary, hoping to decrease the chance of it passing.)

    And the Attorney General of Oklahoma who was responsible for this delay?---------- Scott Pruitt.

    He also, a couple of years earlier, tried to sue Colorado, claiming their cannabis legalization was a threat to law and order in Oklahoma. Fortunately, that suit didn't get anywhere.

  • sparkstable||

    He may be a dirtbag in a lot of ways... and I'm not sad that he's no longer here in OK doing stupid crap. BUT... I'll take a dirtbag who manages to make life easier for businesses and people everywhere than a Mother Theresa who constantly thinks its her job to tell everyone else how to live.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online