Despite President Donald Trump's insistence that former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt made the choice to resign on Thursday, a new report from Bloomberg found that the long-embattled Cabinet member was forced out.
Reporters Jennifer Jacobs and Jennifer Dlouhy say that Pruitt was "devastated" when he was told to resign. But even though Trump had concluded Pruitt must go, they write, it was White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who called to break the news to the administrator.
When asked Thursday by reporters whether there was a "final straw" that led to Pruitt's removal, Trump denied it.
“No final straw," he said aboard Air Force One. "I think Scott saw that he was, he was, uh – look, Scott is a terrific guy. And he came to me and he said 'I have such great confidence in the administration. I don’t want to be a distraction.' And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction.”
But Jacobs and Dlouhy found that there was, in fact, a final straw.
Recent reports found that Pruitt had doctored his schedule to conceal certain meetings from the public — a potential violation of federal records law. With the seriousness of the allegations against Pruitt increasing, the report notes, Trump realized his time was up.
Even in his comments after the resignation, however, Trump expressed real fondness for Pruitt.
“He’ll go on to great things and he’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope," Trump said. "He was very much an early Trump supporter. He was with us on the campaign. He is a very environmental person. He’s a big believer, and he’s going to do a fantastic job.”
Happy Holidays from all of us!
It's that time of year when we all give thanks, and we want to extend that thanks to you. All of us at AlterNet are honored by your readership and support. We hope you and your family enjoy a cozy, joyful Thanksgiving.
AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.