Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Monday was confronted inside a restaurant in Washington, D.C., by a teacher holding her two-year-old son. The woman, Kristin Mink, posted a video of their interaction online. When Ali Velshi asked Mink what motivated her to speak out, she called Pruitt "disgusting" and "corrupt" while defending her right to challenge him over his negative environmental policies.
"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all us, including our children", Mink said in the video.
"I had to say something", she said.
In an interview with the New York Post, Mink, a 33-year-old mother from Silver Spring, Maryland, said that she saw Pruitt sitting three tables away as she ate lunch with her family in Washington, D.C.'s Teaism restaurant.
"So, I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out", said Mink said, who at times during the video read from notes on a piece of paper.
Pruitt, who has destroyed United States environmental regulation and has bluntly refused to acknowledge climate change science, appeared speechless as Mink spent about 90 seconds listing some of the numerous misuse of funds and corruption scandals he has also faced since becoming head of the EPA under Donald Trump.
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Minka, who is a schoolteacher according to her Facebook profile, lists off multiple scandals Pruitt has been ensnared in since becoming EPA chief, including the rental of a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of an influential lobbyist.
"He had no response, he had no defense, he had no apology, he did no explaining, he did no denying", she said of Pruitt.
"Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans, whether they agree or disagree with the decisions being made at EPA", Lincoln Ferguson, EPA spokesman, said in a statement.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have sharply criticized Pruitt, but President Trump has stuck by an appointee whose scandals have dwarfed the controversies that have felled other administration officials.
Later in the month, press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia. The video ends shortly after she finished speaking. Trump adviser Stephen Miller and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were both heckled by protesters furious with the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy at the USA border, which included separating children from their families.