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Scott Pruitt is now citing Oklahoman editorials in mean press releases…

The Oklahoman and Scott Pruitt are back on speaking terms.

Over the weekend, the Associated Press – an evil band of liberal fake news smearing muckrakers – had the nerve and audacity to accurately report that nobody from the EPA was on the ground to check toxic Superfund sites that were flooded in Hurricane Harvey.

Via the AP:

The Associated Press surveyed seven Superfund sites in and around Houston during the flooding. All had been inundated with water, in some cases many feet deep.

On Saturday, hours after the AP published its first report, the EPA said it had reviewed aerial imagery confirming that 13 of the 41 Superfund sites in Texas were flooded by Harvey and were “experiencing possible damage” due to the storm.

The statement confirmed the AP’s reporting that the EPA had not yet been able to physically visit the Houston-area sites, saying the sites had “not been accessible by response personnel.” EPA staff had checked on two Superfund sites in Corpus Christi on Thursday and found no significant damage.

AP journalists used a boat to document the condition of one flooded Houston-area Superfund site, but accessed others with a vehicle or on foot. The EPA did not respond to questions about why its personnel had not yet been able to do so.

“Teams are in place to investigate possible damage to these sites as soon flood waters recede, and personnel are able to safely access the sites,” the EPA statement said.

That's nice and everything, but what did the reporter expect to see? Did he really think EPA workers would be wading around in Hazmat suits just days after the hurricane to see if the water's safe for rescue workers and the residents who live nearby? Yeah right. Even a functioning government managed by compassionate people who are not hell-bent on destroying the system doesn't run that efficiently.

Naturally, the AP article got the attention of EPA Director Scott Pruitt and his communications team. They issued a salty Trumponian press release that vigorously defended the agency and attacked the credibility of the report. They even cited an editorial from The Oklahoman in an effort to smear one of reporters who wasn't there.

Check it out:

Yesterday, the Associated Press’ Michael Biesecker wrote an incredibly misleading story about toxic land sites that are under water.

Despite reporting from the comfort of Washington, Biesecker had the audacity to imply that agencies aren’t being responsive to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. Not only is this inaccurate, but it creates panic and politicizes the hard work of first responders who are actually in the affected area.

On the topic of inaccuracies, this would be a good time to mention that AP reporter Jason Dearen was the guy reporting on the scene, and also the guy who received full credit in the byline. Michael Biesecker contributed to the report from Washington. Of course, who cares about trivial facts like that when it's so easy to spin suspicion based on minor details that don't really matter.

Here’s the truth: through aerial imaging, EPA has already conducted initial assessments at 41 Superfund sites – 28 of those sites show no damage, and 13 have experienced flooding. This was left out of the original story, along with the fact that EPA and state agencies worked with responsible parties to secure Superfund sites before the hurricane hit. Leaving out this critical information is misleading.

Administrator Pruitt already visited Southeast Texas and is in constant contact with local, state and county officials. And EPA, has a team of experts imbedded with other local, state and federal authorities, on the ground responding to Harvey - none of which Biesecker included in his story.

Unfortunately, the Associated Press’ Michael Biesecker has a history of not letting the facts get in the way of his story. Earlier this summer, he made-up a meeting that Administrator Pruitt had, and then deliberately discarded information that refuted his inaccurate story – ultimately prompting a nation-wide correction. Additionally, the Oklahoman took him to task for sensationalized reporting.

Yep. That's real. Scott Pruitt's team used an editorial from The Oklahoman – a paper that has a long history of not letting facts get in the way of a good story – to support an accusation that a reporter has a history of not letting the facts get in the way of his story. Even Trump would appreciate that level of hypocrisy and irony.

Anyway, I guess if you're really bored you can read the rest of Pruitt's press release, or The Oklahoman editorial he cited. I'd avoid doing both and just read this statement from the AP instead:

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