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Report: Lobbyist Accompanied Scott Pruitt on Morocco Trip

A lobbyist who recently registered as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of the Moroccan government accompanied embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to that country, The Washington Post reported, noting that the arrangement was ethically questionable. Richard Smotkin, a longtime friend of Pruitt, “served as an informal liaison at both official and social events during the visit,” the Post reported. The trip reportedly had a price tag of $100,000, and Pruitt stayed at a luxury hotel in Paris for one night. Smotkin’s role in the trip was unusual, and it raised questions about whether the EPA chief made the trip to help out his friend. Pruitt has been under fire for a number of scandals involving alleged misuse of taxpayer funds, and is facing multiple investigations into his conduct by the EPA’s inspector general and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.