Donald Trump's embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns

Donald Trump's embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns

Donald Trump's embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns

Scott Pruitt has resigned as head of the EPA. "But he's done a fantastic job running the EPA, which is very overriding", Trump said.

Last month, The Washington Post reported Pruitt used his official position and EPA staff to express interest in a lucrative deal for his wife to become a Chick-fil-A franchisee, a venture that ultimately did not occur.

Speaking to reporters traveling with Trump aboard Air Force One to West Virginia, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump was looking into the many "troublesome reports" about Pruitt. The embattled EPA chief told Trump he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for national office. "His EPA now faces about a dozen probes into its spending, ethics and policy decisions".

Despite the scandals, Trump has been approving of Pruitt's efforts to reduce regulations that the administration says curb business growth.

Like Trump, Pruitt voiced skepticism about mainstream climate science and was a fierce critic of the Paris climate agreement. The EPA maintains the flight upgrades were required due to an uptick in security threats Pruitt has faced during his first year in office.

"Despite his brief tenure, Pruitt was the worst EPA chief in history", said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. He also floated replacing the embattled attorney general with Pruitt, an Oklahoma Republican who's fending off almost 14 probes into his spending and travel patterns.

In April, the EPA inspector general opened a review into allegations of ethical missteps, including a lease Pruitt signed to rent a room on Capitol Hill for $50 a night.

This incident comes as the latest in a series of public confrontations between Trump administration officials and outraged citizens.

In a 2005 interview surfaced by Politico, Pruitt complained that "minority religions" were elbowing Christianity out of "the public square" and that evolution was a theory "more from a philosophical standpoint than a scientific standpoint". Democrats have even asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into Pruitt's actions.

Compounding all of these bruising headlines have been semi-frequent accounts of Pruitt's personal conduct and use of official resources.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Pruitt had pressured two of his top aides to help secure a $200,000 salary job for his wife, Marlyn Pruitt. He made swamp creatures blush with his shameless excesses.

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