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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Woman confronts EPA chief at Washington restaurant

Washington (AFP) - A woman confronted EPA chief Scott Pruitt at a Washington restaurant and called on him to resign -- the latest time an official from President Donald Trump's administration has come under fire while dining out.
Kristin Mink posted a video of the encounter with the Environmental Protection Agency administrator on her Facebook page Monday, writing that he "was 3 tables away as I ate lunch with my child. I had to say something."
"This man is directly and significantly harming my child's -- and every child's -- health and future with decisions to roll back environmental regulations for the benefit of big corporations, while he uses taxpayer money to fund a lavish lifestyle," wrote Mink, whose Facebook page identifies her as a high school teacher.
In the video -- which has been viewed more than 100,000 times -- she walks up to a seated Pruitt and tells him: "I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country."
"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children," she said, holding her toddler as she spoke.
"I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out," said Mink said, who at times glanced at a piece of paper as if reading notes.
- 'They're not welcome' -
Pruitt, who has come under fire for allegedly using his position to seek employment for his wife and receiving a discount on a condo rental linked to a lobbying firm, did not respond to Mink during the video, and text at the end said that he "fled the restaurant before I got back to my seat."
The EPA chief was not the first Trump administration official to face a public backlash at a restaurant.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia, while senior White House aide Stephen Miller was branded a "fascist" by an angry patron during a visit to a downtown Mexican eatery.
And Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made a quick exit when protesters marched into another Mexican restaurant chanting "Shame!" She also confronted angry activists at her home in the suburb of Alexandria.
Representative Maxine Waters has urged people to "show up wherever we have to show up" to protest Trump's policies.
"If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere," she said.
Trump hit back at Waters with his regular insult that she is an "extraordinarily low IQ person," accusing her of wishing his supporters harm.
"Be careful what you wish for Max!" he warned.

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