News & Politics

Scott Pruitt Was 'Devastated' that Trump Finally Wanted Him Out: Report

The president said that the final decision was up to Pruitt — but a new report suggests otherwise.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior

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.”

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.