Scott Pruitt, EPA chief, Steps Down

Scott Pruitt, EPA chief, Steps Down July 6, 2018

Yes, some good news, though who will replace him?

Scott Pruitt has been constantly embroiled in scandal after ethical scandal, and it is all finally too much. The man is an absolute disgrace. Anyone who defends him needs to look at each and every impropriety and defend each and every one. As The Guardian reports:

Scott Pruitt, the hugely controversial administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has resigned.

Donald Trump announced Pruitt’s departure on Twitter and said Pruitt had done an “outstanding job”. He further posted that Pruitt’s deputy Andrew Wheeler would take over as acting administrator from Monday.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will…

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

…on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!

Trump had repeatedly defended Pruitt following a multitude of ethics scandals.

In his resignation letter, Pruitt struck an unapologetic tone.

“It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role,” Pruitt wrote. “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”

Pruitt also infused several references to God while lavishing praise on the president.

“I believe you are serving as president today because of God’s providence,” he wrote. “I believe that same providence brought me into your service.”

Pruitt, a former attorney general of Oklahoma, had come under increasing pressure over issues including the use of public funds for travel and office improvements; for using an obscure provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act to give pay raises to two aides; and for having paid $50 a night to rent a room in a Capitol Hill townhouse from the wife of an energy industry lobbyist.

An EPA ethics official who initially said the condo deal was not inappropriate subsequently rowed back on that claim.

In April, Reuters cited an anonymous Republican aide who said the condo deal was being examined by the House oversight committee. The Associated Press detailed extensive spending on a “a 20-member full-time security detail” for Pruitt.

In recent weeks, the barrage of headlines over Pruitt’s alleged impropriety at the EPA escalated – prompting several staff members to resign.

A whistleblower revealed earlier this week that Pruitt kept a secret calendar to hide meetings with industry representatives. Staffers reportedly met in Pruitt’s office to alter or remove records of the meetings. It also emerged that Pruitt asked staffers to use their personal credit cards for his hotel bookings.

Trump nonetheless continued to defend Pruitt following his resignation, telling reporters aboard Air Force One: “Scott Pruitt did an outstanding job inside of the EPA.”

“You know, obviously the controversies with Scott, but within the agency we were extremely happy,” he added.

Trump also said there was “no final straw” leading up to Pruitt’s departures and that the embattled EPA chief offered his own resignation.

“I think Scott felt that he was a distraction,” Trump said. “It was very much up to him.”

Even some Republicans, who had grown tired of defending Pruitt’s daily controversies, celebrated the news of his departure.

“Finally. Actually he did a horrible job,” Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican congressman from Florida, tweeted in response to Trump.

“He was a disaster and an embarrassment from day one, and the country is far better off without him.”

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