President Donald Trump expressed confidence in EPA administrator Scott Pruitt Thursday before leaving Washington to deliver a speech in West Virginia.
“I do,” the President declared when asked if he had confidence in Pruitt.
The EPA administrator’s status has come into question following a slate of damaging stories. He is accused of misusing taxpayer dollars including his consistent purchasing of first class airfare tickets on the public dime, possibly violating federal gifting laws by paying low market rent to an energy lobbyist while in Washington D.C. and giving two of his staffers pay raises despite objections from the White House.
Pruitt appeared on Fox News Wednesday, where he claimed not to have known about his staffers getting pay raises and that ethics officials at the EPA cleared his living situation at the time.
White House officials have been extremely reluctant to defend him publicly.
Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said on FoxNews Thursday he could “not speak to the future of Scott Pruitt” and that the executive branch has launched an investigation into his behavior.