With Pruitt’s Departure, More Than A Quarter of Trump’s Cabinet Has Changed

06 July, 2018, 19:35 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Ethical questions have been raised about Scott Pruitt's management decisions as administrator of the EPA

WASHINGTON -President Donald Trump said he has accepted the resignation of scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (left), leaves with his wife Marlyn Pruitt (right) during an Independence Day picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump writes on Twitter, "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job". I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment.

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, made a name for himself by suing the very agency he would end up leading, urging the EPA to roll back regulations.

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In the resignation letter that Pruitt sent to President Trump, he said "it is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role".

Trump said he had been discussing Pruitt's exit for a "little while". Pruitt and his activities have been the subject of numerous investigations by the EPA's inspector general, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Government Accountability Office, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Pruitt also allegedly used office resources for personal matters, which included an attempt to get a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, Marilyn. He was with us on the campaign. He worked in the EPA under former President George H.W. Bush, spent years as a senior aide in the Senate working to defeat climate-related legislation and most recently was a lobbyist with many clients in the coal industry. His deputy, Andrew Wheeler, is taking over as acting director. But some worry that his promotion may accelerate the Trump administration's determined dismantling of the EPA.

Pruitt was forced out following a series of revelations involving pricey trips with first-class airline seats and unusual security spending, including a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls.

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Although Pruitt has always been known for his high-profile appearances dating back to his successful run for Oklahoma attorney general, reports paint Wheeler as a quieter political actor.

But this less flashy style is unlikely to endear him to environmental groups that had been critical of Pruitt. By that point, Trump will need to nominate a successor for Pruitt - Wheeler says he doesn't want the job - and the Senate will have to vote to confirm the successor. "He will not be missed", Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife said.

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