FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Senator James Inhofe Now Serves As The EPA’s Chief Of Staff

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe now serves as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chief of staff.

Verdict: False

Inhofe currently serves as a senator for the state of Oklahoma. A spokesperson for the EPA told the Daily Caller that former EPA Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Molina took over the chief of staff role in an acting capacity in late February.

Fact Check:

The viral image, posted Feb. 18, falsely claims that Inhofe, who currently chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, now serves as the EPA’s chief of staff. “So remember the idiot who brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to ‘prove global warming is a hoax?” reads the caption. “He’s now Trump’s EPA’s chief of staff.”

But a spokesperson for the EPA told the Caller in an email that Molina has actually taken over the role in an acting capacity. (RELATED: Were The First 23 Black Senators Republicans?)

“Ryan Jackson’s last day as Chief of Staff at the EPA was February 21st, at which time Michael Molina became Acting Chief of Staff,” Molly Block said.

Ryan Jackson, who the EPA still lists as the chief of staff on its website, left the agency to join the National Mining Association as a lobbyist, according to The Hill. He previously served as a top aid for Inhofe and as a staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, according to the EPA website.

The Washington Post reported Feb. 14 that Mandy Gunasekara, a former top EPA air policy official, has been tapped to return as the agency’s chief of staff, but the EPA hasn’t made any announcements to that effect at the time of publication.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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