Pruitt Was Told to Resign in Call From White House

Pruitt Was Told to Resign in Call From White House

Pruitt Was Told to Resign in Call From White House

Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency administrator, resigned Thursday, the president announced on Twitter.

Trump has praised Pruitt for slashing regulations on the energy and manufacturing industries, including his move to repeal Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature program to cut carbon emissions from power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan.

An ethics cloud hung over Pruitt for months, as lawmakers from both parties, environmental groups and government watchdogs raised questions about his spending, housing arrangements, security team and raises for political appointees.

Kristin Mink, a Maryland teacher, made headlines earlier this week when she confronted Scott Pruitt while holding her two-year-old son in a Washington, D.C. restaruant, urging him to resign.

Flooded Thai farmers support rescue effort: With more rain coming, Thai rescuers are racing to pump out water from a flooded cave before they can extract 12 boys and their soccer coach with minimum risk. Either Trump's opinions are at odds with the way much of the country feels about Pruitt or it's a further sign that Trump is a fan of corrupt, anti-environment policy and leadership.

Trump's inner circle this year became frustrated by the torrent of news reports about Pruitt's controversies. "He came to me and said I have such great confidence in the administration I don't want to be a distraction". "However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally (and) my family are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us".

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Trump also tweeted to break the news that Andrew Wheeler would be named Pruitt's replacement.

When asked Thursday by reporters whether there was a "final straw" that led to Pruitt's removal, Trump denied it.

"There's definitely that fear" of a shake-up among Pruitt's remaining political appointees, said Kevin Chmielewski, the former deputy chief of staff who fell out of favor with Pruitt after questioning spending.

"We deserve to have someone at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who actually does believe in climate change and takes it seriously", Mink told Pruitt. After giving $300,000 to the President's inauguration fund, the New York Times reported that Murray gave Trump a wish list of environmental regulations he wanted rolled back and the President instructed Pruitt to get to work on the list.

In 2017, just months before being nominated as deputy administrator, Wheeler was still lobbing for Murray Energy, a major coal mining company that has paid millions in fines and penalties for contaminating waterways in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with coal slurry and discharge.

Matt Dempsey, the managing director of FTI Consulting who worked with Wheeler on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he fully expects Wheeler will carry out President Trump's agenda.

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In his resignation letter to the president, he writes, "I believe you are serving as president today because of God's providence".

"Scott Pruitt's departure is long overdue".

All told, Pruitt left EPA having faced more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency, including his first-class plane travel, a room that he rented from a lobbyist at $50 per night and the installation of a soundproof booth in his office.

"We're proud of him for that", Pollard said.

Travel records showed the U.S. government spent $17,000 in taxpayer money on a December trip to Morocco to promote U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas, which is not part of the EPA's jurisdiction.

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