White House Secretly Suggests the EPA's Scott Pruitt May Be on His Way Out: Report
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has enjoyed continued support from the White House despite a deluge of allegations of corruption, but President Donald Trump's protection of the Cabinet official may soon be coming to an end.
According to a report Monday from Bloomberg, the White House has begun signaling to Republican lawmakers behind closed doors that they shouldn't defend Pruitt too vigorously. Pruitt's pro-industry bent and critical eye toward regulation has won him favor among most conservative politicians, many of whom came to his defense when news reports found that he had received a sweetheart real estate deal from a lobbyist's wife, spent government funds excessively on his travel and on a sound-proof booth, and used a legal loophole to give his aides unapproved raises.
But as more allegations of misdeeds pile up, including some that stretch back to his time in Oklahoma, it appears the White House and other Republicans are getting ready to say goodbye to Pruitt.
Lawmakers who had defended him have started to sing a different tune, Bloomberg notes, and while the president himself had vocally supported Pruitt, that was before a Government Accountability Office report found that the administrator's $43,000 soundproof booth violated the law.
On Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' statement about Pruitt was hardly a ringing endorsement.
"Administrator Pruitt has done a good job of implementing the President's policies, particularly on deregulation; making the United States less energy-dependent and becoming more energy independent," she said. "Those are good things. However, the other things certainly are something that we're monitoring and looking at and I'll keep you posted."
With Pruitt's potential replacement, Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, recently approved by the Senate, Trump may soon decide that the administrator is expendable.