Is Scott Pruitt Really On His Way Out? Let’s Look At The Evidence
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is on the verge of losing his job, or so administration officials keep telling media outlets.
An administration official told CNN on Wednesday that Pruitt was “inching forward to the tipping point” as more accusations are leveled at the former Oklahoma attorney general. Likewise, an unnamed senior official told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman that Pruitt’s firing was still “coming.”
But even Haberman had reservations, tweeting “[t]ime will tell but we’ve repeatedly had replays of the movie where Kelly (and in this case most of [White House]) wants someone gone and Trump, who doesn’t like conflict, has to get dragged there.”
Senior administration official tells me Pruitt dismissal is still “coming.” Time will tell but we’ve repeatedly had replays of the movie where Kelly (and in this case most of WH) wants someone gone and Trump, who doesn’t like conflict, has to get dragged there
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 4, 2018
Pruitt was hit with a fresh wave of allegations by former EPA official Kevin Chmielewski. Pruitt kept “secret” calendars to hide meetings with industry representatives, Chmielewski told CNN on Monday.
Chmielewski, a former Trump campaign official, is the source behind most allegations against Pruitt, which have trickled out in recent months. The real question is, have these negative reports actually changed President Donald Trump’s mind about Pruitt? (RELATED: REPORT: Pruitt Asked Trump To Fire Sessions So He Could Run The DOJ)
For months, news outlets have reported that White House officials are trying to convince Trump to fire Pruitt over alleged ethical violations and overspending, including flying first class, beefing up his security and using staff for personal errands.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported in early April that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Trump to fire Pruitt, although both outlets noted the president was not sold on firing the embattled administrator.
At the same time Democratic Alabama Sen. Doug Jones said Pruitt “may be on his way out” after reports surfaced he rented a room from the wife of a prominent D.C. lobbyist with business before EPA.
Calls for Pruitt’s removal have only grown among Democrats, and now, even conservative Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham has called for Trump to fire Pruitt. The National Review has also called for Pruitt’s removal.
Pruitt is the swamp. Drain it.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) July 3, 2018
However, Trump doesn’t seem to have changed his mind on Pruitt. Trump did admit he had some concerns about Pruitt when asked by reporters in June, but also praised his accomplishments at EPA.
“I’m not happy about certain things, but he’s done a fantastic job at EPA,” Trump told reporters outside the White House in June.
Indeed, EPA eliminated 22 regulations in Pruitt’s first year, cutting $1 billion worth of red tape. Pruitt has also begun rolling back sweeping Obama-era regulations on power plants and over bodies of water.
Pruitt has also asked Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions so he could run the Department of Justice (DOJ), CNN reported Tuesday. Pruitt would be able to run the DOJ for 210 days after which he reportedly told Trump he’d return to Oklahoma to run for office.
Pruitt, of course, denied the report, but it begs the question: is this the kind of suggestion someone on his way out would make?
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