EPAimplemented its scientific integrity policy, along with other science-centric agencies, after the Obama administration called for agencies to strengthen internal reviews on science in 2009. The move was in response to the previous administration's rewriting of regulations based on questionable or politically motivated science.
"It just got so out of control during Bush-Cheney that people began recognized it as an issue, so much so that it was one of the first actions Obama took," said Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a watchdog group of former government employees and scientists.
Grifo joined the EPA in 2013, charged with implementing its new scientific integrity policy and coordinating with a new scientific integrity committee. While the Office of Inspector General handles investigations into scientific misconduct, Grifo handles matters of scientific integrity.
Donald Trump is 70 years old. He has always, clearly, been an incoherent thinker, contradictory and prone to self-gratifying delusions. But if, for much of his life, he was able to pass as an intelligent and well-informed man, it was probably just because he religiously read newspapers, especially the New York Times. That was and is a decent way to sound like a smart person, at least for a few minutes, which is long enough to impress most rich people. Now, though, Trump is older, his thinking more rigid, his favored media outlets less trustworthy and more likely to reinforce reactionary tendencies. Cable news has largely replaced newspapers as his primary source of information about the world. He has also taken to reading conspiratorial websites run by kooks and con artists. Perhaps, if you have a white parent or grandparent over 60, this sounds familiar?
Trump was always venal, dishonest, genuinely deluded about his financial acumen and business success, and, you know, a wildly misogynistic accused rapist and sexual harasser. But for most of his public life, he also clearly knew the right sorts of things to say to sound like a reasonable person, albeit a mostly ridiculous one. Donald Trump the deranged believer of bizarre untruths about the world at large is actually a fairly recent development. This is why, when he flirted with presidential runs in the past, he spoke positively of universal healthcare. This is why, when he planned to win the nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, he attacked Pat Buchanan as a right-wing extremist. This is why he spent many years claiming to have opposed the Iraq War—which he did, albeit after it was too late, and not before. Trump learned what to think about the world at large from the media, and for most of his life, he was a consumer of the mainstream media.
Donald Trump today is a cruel dolt turned into a raving madman by cable news and Breitbart.com. You could see the descent happen during the Obama era, in concert with the broader maddening of the GOP. The major difference between Trump and the other old white men who’ve been radicalized by the conservative press is that his was a strangely self-directed conversion, based on his desire to make himself known as a plausible Republican presidential candidate.
The president had been working on many of them individually in recent days, typically with what members described as "colorful" phone calls, littered with exaggerations and foul language and hilariously off-topic anecdotes. In some cases, the pressure worked. Jim Bridenstine, a Freedom Caucus member and longtime problem for the Republican leadership, agreed to back the bill after conversations with Trump and other administration officials. (It wasn't necessary to remind Bridenstine that he was a leading candidate to become NASA administrator, and would likely hurt his chances by voting against the president.)
But by and large, Trump's first attempt to corral the Republican-controlled Congress—and particularly the Freedom Caucus, a rambunctious, ideologically charged collection of GOP legislators who have long refused to fall in line behind the party's leadership—failed miserably. That failure played a major role in the collapse of the American Health Care Act almost exactly 24 hours after their meeting at the White House, and now, as Trump warned, threatens to paralyze the president's first-year policy agenda and send Republicans into a damaging cycle of intra-party recrimination.
These are immensely dangerous developments which threaten to weaken this country’s moral standing in the world, imperil the planet and reverse years of slow but steady gains by marginalized or impoverished Americans. But, chilling as they are, these radically wrongheaded policy choices are not, in fact, the most frightening aspect of the Trump presidency.
What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.
The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.
The reporting suggests a pattern: As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr. O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally. He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.