White House Says Pruitt 'Could Do a Better Job' Using Taxpayer Money as Scandals Continue to Pile Up

News & Politics

Even as the number of scandals involving Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt increase, the White House continues to support the Cabinet member while acknowledging Wednesday only that he could do a better job controlling spending.

"We have to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and I think that we take that promise seriously to the American people," White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said to CBS. "I think that there are certain areas that the administrator would acknowledge were mistakes that he would want to fix."

Asked if Pruitt "could do a better job," Short said, "Yeah. I think he would acknowledge that."

But Pruitt has not been eager to accept responsibility for the numerous scandals he's found himself in, which include allegations of excessive wasteful spending and inappropriate financial ties to lobbyists. He has blamed his staff for much of the spending and said that many of the allegations against him stem from partisan attacks.

He did tell Congress, however, that there's been a "learning process" on the job.

A whistleblower EPA employee even recently came forward to ABC News to say that he was retaliated against by Pruitt for criticizing his spending habits. The whistleblower said the administrator lied about this retaliation in his testimony to Congress.

Short said that the agency's inspector general is looking into the claims against Pruitt, and the White House will wait for the results of that probe.

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