Into the future: What's ahead for EPA Admin. Scott Pruitt?


At the time, the White House was publicly backing him, albeit cautiously, with Trump telling the press: 'I hope he's going to be great'.

Hart is chairman and CEO of the powerhouse Washington firm Williams & Jensen, which required federal disclosure reports show lobbied EPA extensively in the past year - including Pruitt himself. It also emerged that Pruitt was late with some of his rent payments for a room in that Capitol Hill condo.

However, the White House's Stance on the controversy surrounding Pruitt is a little different.

Dravis' resignation was earlier reported by Politico. "But again, we take this seriously, we're looking into it and we'll let you know when we finish". "And when he's not pleased, you'll know it". Chief of Staff John Kelly got on the phone, too, with Kelly expressing dissatisfaction with Pruitt's previous media sit-downs.

Trump on Thursday said he still had confidence in Pruitt, and CNN reported Thursday that as recently as this week, Trump floated having Pruitt replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"I don't know all the facts and that's why I can't say for sure", he said.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if Trump was OK with Pruitt's actions, Sanders replied: "The president's not".

Several congressional Republicans, as well as some governors, conservative groups and pundits, rallied to Pruitt's side. Bevin tweeted that the administrator should "ignore the nattering nabobs of negativism", invoking a phrase that Vice President Spiro Agnew used in 1969 while blasting the media.

When reached for comment Thursday, EPA spokesman Liz Bowman said "after serving for over a year as EPA's head of policy, Samantha Dravis has made a decision to pursue other opportunities". Trump may not appreciate the negative attention Pruitt is getting-and he certainly hates the positive attention, such as a New York Times headline last month, "Scott Pruitt, Trump's Rule-Cutting E.P.A". The EPA leader has promoted fossil fuel development and encouraged Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. Kevin Chmielewski, a political appointee, was placed on administrative leave without pay.

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Two career officials were also pushed aside, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Pruitt went on Fox News that day to defend his conduct, unapologetically calling his arrangement similar to an "Airbnb situation" where lodgers only pay for the nights they stay, and countering the criticism that renting from an energy lobbyist is a potential conflict.

The House members laid out five pages of reasons as to why they felt that was the case, including the recent scandals involving the dinner, the apartment, and his plane use. "But I'll take a look at it", the president said. Time and again, Trump has accepted arrogance and incompetence on his staff as long as loyalty remains beyond question.

"Some have raised questions whether the actual use of the space was consistent with the terms of the lease".

John E. Reeder, another EPA official, was asked to find a new job and joined American University as a temporary "executive in residence".

Pruitt paid $50 a night for the unit - totaling $6,100 in payments over the six-month period he leased the condo, an average of about $1,000 a month. Minoli described that as "a reasonable market value".

A spokesman for Pruitt declined to comment. But they also said he was acting "counter" to the EPA's mission of protecting the health and environment.

In the 14 months he's been the nation's top environmental rulemaker, the former Oklahoma attorney general who sued the EPA more than a dozen times has rolled back the Clean Power Plan, delayed the Waters of the USA rule, and helped convince the president to back out of the Paris Accord on climate change, among a number of changes. She initially gave her approval based on the specifics they shared. "When I was not there, the landlord, they had access to the entirety of the facility. He had to push back on Pruitt on some of the trip and office modification expenses to keep everything legal, and we speculated he might have been removed for that reason", said Zarba on Allen's transfer. "Advice that's given by an ethics official is only as good as the information that's provided". The place is co-owned by the wife of a lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, whose firm Williams & Jensen lobbies on energy and transportation issues.