Top EPA officials overseeing water saving programs were exasperated after President Trump went on a bizarre rant about having to flush the toilet too many times, according to emails released by NBC News. At a rally in Michigan last year, Trump complained about government water-saving regulations that, he said, meant sinks, showers, and toilets used too little water. “Ten times, right, 10 times,” he said, referring to the number of times a toilet needed to be flushed. “Not me, of course not me. But you,” he added, pointing to a random audience member. He was referring to a set of energy standards introduced since the 1990s that set limits on how much water some appliances can use.
In emails released to NBC News under the Freedom of Information Act, Veronica Blette, the chief of WaterSense in the EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management, sent her colleagues a video of Trump’s remarks and wrote, “I can’t even.” In another email, she wrote: “Sigh.” Beth Livingston, WaterSense brand manager, was emailed by a faucet company executive who said, “[You] have your work cut out for you convincing No. 45 [Trump] on your program.” She responded, “Nothing like a challenge!” Trump has raised the toilet issue several times since the Michigan rally, giving some libertarian conservatives who oppose the regulations hope he will overturn them.