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Mom who confronted Pruitt: "I'm glad he took the hint"

CBS News logo CBS News 7/6/2018 Blair Guild
FILE: Then-Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt takes a picture during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. © REUTERS/Joshua Roberts FILE: Then-Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt takes a picture during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018.

Kristin Mink, a Maryland teacher, made headlines earlier this week when she confronted Scott Pruitt while holding her two-year-old son in a Washington, D.C. restaruant, urging him to resign. In an interview Thursday with Elaine Quijano on CBSN's "Red & Blue" after his resignation, Mink said she's "glad he took the hint." 

"At first, of course, I was elated. Jumping up and down, very excited, it's great," she said in a phone interview from Silver Spring, Maryland. "Then, of course, you know, I saw who he's appointed as the interim, and that's reality for us," she said of Pruitt's replacement, his deputy at the EPA Andrew Wheeler.

Mink shared the video on Facebook in a post that called Pruitt "corrupt" and a "liar." 

"Hi, I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country," she says to Pruitt at Washington D.C.'s Teaism restaurant. "This is my son. He loves animals, he loves clean air, he loves clean water."

Her post and video has been viewed over half a million times. Mink said that when she first approached Pruitt, he "was all smiles," but as their conversation progressed, that smile quickly faded and the former EPA administrator got increasingly defensive and uncomfortable. 

"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment," she says to him in the video. "Somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously, for the benefit of all of us, including our children. So I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out." 

Mink writes that Pruitt did not respond to her confrontation at the restaurant, but shortly after, he got up and left. 

As for Wheeler, Mink says she is disappointed, but not surprised. 

"It's sad. I guess it's not surprising because clearly what Trump wants to do is dismantle the EPA. The environment doesn't need deregulation, we need more regulations to protect the environment. this should not be a partisan issue," she said. "Everybody should be able to get behind putting in protections for clean air and clean water, for a clean Earth for our children and the next generation and generations to come. But clearly that's not what we have with this administration." 

Pruitt and Mink's exchange is just one of many in recent history where Trump administration officials have been confronted by concerned citizens. 

Protestors chanted "shame" at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in response to the Trump administration's zero-tolerance illegal immigration policy, which lead to family separation at the border. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were confronted for the same policy in Georgetown. And the Red Hen, a Virginia restaurant, asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her familyto leave, citing her work for President Trump.

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