Trump: 'No final straw' on Pruitt

Trump: 'No final straw' on Pruitt
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE said Thursday that embattled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Greens sue EPA over ‘super-polluting’ truck rule Don’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court MORE decided on his own to resign, underscoring he was not forced to exit over his mounting ethics problems. 

“No final straw,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked about Pruitt’s decision. “Scott is a terrific guy. And he came to me and he said, ‘I have such great confidence in the administration. I don’t want to be a distraction.’ And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction.”

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Asked if the decision was his own or the EPA chief’s, Trump responded, “it was very much up to him.”

Pruitt announced his resignation earlier Thursday as he became increasingly enveloped in controversies over accusations of improper spending of taxpayer money, self-dealing and inappropriate use of staff. 

Despite those controversies, Pruitt was able to remain in the president’s good graces for months due to his aggressive efforts to carry out a deregulation agenda — as well as his praise for Trump.

“He’ll go on to great things and he’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope,” Trump said.

Pruitt is the fifth member of Trump’s Cabinet to be fired or quit in just 18 months, a staggering level of turnover for an administration.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle applauded Pruitt's decision to step down, with GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE (S.C.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Kavanaugh paper chase heats up MORE (Iowa), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Senate adds members to pro-NATO group Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act MORE (Wyo.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (Maine) all releasing statements saying Trump was right to accept the resignation.