Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt praised fast food chain Chick-fil-A as a "franchise of faith" Wednesday amid the revelation he directed his scheduler to contact the restaurant to inquire about his wife owning a franchise.
"Look, my wife is an entrepreneur herself – I love, she loves, we love . . . Chick-fil-A is a franchise of faith, and it's one of the best in the country," Pruitt told Nexstar correspondent Jessica Smith. "So, that's something we were very excited about. We need more of them in Tulsa, we need more of them across the country. It's an exciting time."
The Washington Post reported this week that Pruitt asked his staffer Sydney Hupp to reach out to Chick-fil-A corporate in May 2017, which she did. Emails obtained by the Post showed several messages between Hupp and officials at the restaurant chain that is headquartered in College Park, Georgia.
Pruitt's wife Marlyn started an application to open a Chick-fil-A franchise but she never finished it, the restaurant told the Post.
Still, Pruitt approaching a private company with the intention of securing a job for his wife raises ethics questions. He has come under fire for other ethics issues, including racking up expensive travel costs, renting a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist, and and asking his staff members to perform tasks not related to his EPA work.
Pruitt told Smith on Wednesday, "With great change comes, I think, opposition. There are significant changes happening across not only at the EPA but across this administration. And it's needed."
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