Friday, 17 August, 2018

White House Chief of Staff Kelly Urged Trump to Fire EPA's Pruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator got a call from President Trump indicating he still had the president's support but scandals continue to swirl around the official Scott Pruitt's Corruption Is So Vast It's Becoming Impossible to Keep Up With
Deanna Wagner | 08 April, 2018, 01:48

Christine Todd Whitman, who was previously an EPA administrator below President George W. Bush and a Republican governor of New Jersey, stated alleged moral lapses by Pruitt in addition to different members of Trump's Cupboard are undermining public belief in authorities.

White House officials said Friday that Trump continues to believe that Pruitt has been effective in his role, and stressed that it was up to the president alone to decide his fate.

She said the White House, which has been conducting an internal investigation into Pruitt's conduct, was "continuing to review any of the concerns that we have". He's spent the past few weeks explaining away Pruitt's use of premium airfare and high-priced hotels and responding to congressional inquiries.

"It's a pretty sad statement of the priorities of these right-wing ideologues that they think someone who is clearly unethical and has no respect for taxpayers or the law is okay to keep around, as long as he pushes their unsafe agenda", said John Coequyt, the Sierra Club's senior director of federal policy. He sometimes used a companion pass obtained with frequent flyer miles accumulated by Ken Wagner, a former law partner whom Pruitt hired as a senior adviser at EPA at a salary of more than $172,000.

Scott Pruitt does occasionally pay for his own travel.

On Capitol Hill, where some Republican lawmakers have already called for Pruitt's firing or resignation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Pruitt must go.

The activist group Friends of Earth claimed credit for the stunt, according to The Hill, a Washington-based news website.

Pruitt has come under criticism as well for taking first-class flights and having a 24-hour security detail, which his predecessors did not have.

Publicly, Trump has offered praise for Pruitt, telling reporters Thursday that he had confidence in the embattled EPA chief and calling him "very courageous" amid a barrage of damaging revelations.

But Trump's decision to keep Pruitt in his job over the counsel of his chief of staff also raised new questions about Kelly's power in the West Wing.

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The Wall Road Journal editorial board wrote Friday that Trump ought to stand behind Pruitt, saying the administrator is being focused by individuals who do not like his selections on the EPA.

"This was like an Airbnb situation", Pruitt told Fox News on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview in which he defended his actions amid allegations of questionable spending.

"I think he's done an incredible job".

"Pruitt is reforming the way the agency does business". A later memo released this week said the office did not have all the facts about the rental when it made its initial ruling, including reports that Pruitt's daughter, McKenna Pruitt, lived at the apartment when she was a White House intern. "When I was there, I only had access to a room".

Kelly and other White House aides are frustrated by the steady drip of negative press Pruitt is attracting over a seemingly below-market lease on an apartment owned by the wife of a leading lobbyist; reports that he instructed his security detail to use emergency lights and sirens to beat traffic; and the continuing fallout from his use of private and first-class air travel a year ago. Pruitt's conservative allies said that is more likely to bolster the administrator's standing than hurt it and said they hope Kelly will not force him out.

Extra information adopted, together with a report by the Atlantic that Pruitt bypassed the White Home to present two aides raises of tens of hundreds of by means of a hiring provision of the Secure Consuming Water Act, and a narrative damaged by The New York Instances that not less than 5 EPA officers had been reassigned, demoted or requested for brand new jobs after they expressed concern in regards to the spending and administration of Pruitt.

Conservatives have rallied around Pruitt. But they also said he was acting "counter" to the EPA's mission of protecting the health and environment.

Almost three dozen EPA security and law enforcement agents were assigned to Pruitt, according to a summary of six weeks of weekly schedules obtained by Democratic Sen.

Kelly and Pruitt have clashed in the past.

They also said he had "intentionally censored or drummed up public confusion around climate science".