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Anatomy of a Fake News Hit Job: Scott Pruitt Edition

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WASHINGTON — The coordinated effort to get EPA administrator Scott Pruitt fired from the President Donald Trump administration — and the related scheme to damage Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke– involved two disgruntled mid-level staffers, a lost cell phone, and a mainstream media willing to run with a diversion to protect the conspirators.

Oftentimes people wonder how a “process story” comes together in Washington. Usually, this is done when someone in a position of authority wants to damage someone that they work with, and so they use the pliable pens of the mainstream press corps to carry out a hit job for one reason or another.

In this case, the conspirators are Kevin Chmielewski and Alex Hinson. Chmielewski was pushed out of the EPA for impersonating a police officer in D.C. traffic and other strange offenses, while Alex Hinson is said to be living with his parents in Arkansas while his Department of the Interior colleagues figure out what to do about his rampant leaking against his boss Ryan Zinke.

The process story was an “Atlantic” piece by Elaina Plott which claimed that leaks against Zinke were coming from Michael Abboud, an EPA official close to Scott Pruitt whom Plott claimed (based on anonymous sources, of course) was leaking against Zinke to take the heat off Pruitt. The story is ridiculous on its face, but at least one low-level staffer in the White House Personnel Office helped make it happen.

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Let’s break down what really happened with our widely acclaimed Big League Politics reporting on the case:

WASHINGTON — The pair of conspirators trying to knock out EPA chief Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke by leaking to the press are in full-fledged panic mode as their scheme unravels.

Big League Politics has received confirmation that Kevin Chmielewski, the fired EPA advance man who is leaking negative stories about Pruitt, called up his former mistress Haley Davis and threatened her not to talk to the press. Haley Davis, the former American Idol contestant, left married Chmielewski in March 2016 to avoid being a homewrecker. Chmielewski also threatened a reporter in a conversation about the case, vowing to spitefully target the reporter for the rest of his career.

Chmielewski, who impersonates a police officer by driving around in Washington in a fake police car with fake police lights, is working with Interior deputy press secretary Alex Hinson to pull off an amateur House of Cards-type ploy to get Pruitt and Zinke removed from their jobs. (READ OUR STUNNING BIG LEAGUE POLITICS REPORT).

Watch This Episode of Howley Reports on the downfall of the leakers:

Now, the leakers are crashing and burning. Their scheme to try to blame Michael Abboud, an EPA official close to Scott Pruitt, for their own leaks is thoroughly debunked. CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 spiked a planned story on the Abboud angle after I provided CNN’s Sarah Ganim with text messages showing the scope of Chmielewski and Hinson’s subterfuge, making it clear that Abboud had nothing to do with this.

The first time Big League Politics ever heard the name Michael Abboud was when we called Alex Hinson, who asked us if we were talking to Abboud and we did not know who he was. Clearly, Hinson was trying to set up Abboud, which sparked a conspiracy-theory story in The Atlantic by reporter Elaina Plott. That Atlantic story has now clearly been proven false.
Alex Hinson, we are told, is now living at home with his parents in Arkansas as his colleagues disgustedly try to figure out how to handle the situation.

Chmielewski also threatened a Washington Free Beacon reporter who is covering his anti-Pruitt scheme and his developing meltdown. Susan Crabtree writes:

“Administration officials said Chmielewski was asked to resign over a number of issues, including that his supervisors and other co-workers didn’t know where he was on many occasions even though they suspected he was doing advance work…

A document reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon shows that he signed a resignation form March 17 and did not cite any reasons for the resignation or grievances on a line asking for the reasons for the resignation. The form instructs those resigning to “be specific and avoid generalizations.”…

In a lengthy, combative interview with the Free Beacon, Chmielewski repeatedly refused to answer several questions and threatened to spend the “rest of his career going after” this reporter.

He said neither the PPO, nor anyone else in the federal government, ever contacted him with background check concerns. He told the Free Beacon that he has a permanent Top Secret-level security clearance but would not provide any paperwork to prove it.

“This is how ridiculous and idiotic you are,” Chmielewski said in the interview…

Two fellow campaign workers say they became alarmed about Chmielewski’s judgment and behavior after they witnessed him repeatedly manhandling protesters at Trump campaign rallies.”

Free Beacon passage ends

Big League Politics has obtained the following text messages between Chmielewski and Hinson.

“Hot off the press,” Chmielewski says to Hinson, referring to Washington Post and The Hill articles about Scott Pruitt’s first-class flights. “they haven’t even scratched the surface and I haven’t said one word.”

“Fuck. That,” Hinson told Chmielewski when told that Chimielewski was asked to resign.

“Get on the horn with Caroline and then blow the roof off this.

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