Kelly wants Trump to remove Pruitt: report

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has told President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Fallon responds to Trump: I'll donate to pro-immigrant nonprofit in his name South Carolina GOP candidate expected to make full recovery after car accident Official: US to present North Korea with timeline, 'specific asks' MORE that he thinks Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPruitt's office discussed hiring friend of his landlord: report Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama's water rule Overnight Energy: OPEC strikes deal to boost crude production | Pruitt sent one work email outside EPA in first 10 months | Perry, oil execs head to gas conference MORE has to go, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But despite Kelly’s conclusion — and that of other White House aides — that Pruitt’s recent scandals should push him out of the Trump administration, the president doesn’t want to fire him, the Journal said Friday, citing a White House official.

Trump instead values Pruitt’s deregulatory policies and commitment to his agenda.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump tweeted earlier Friday that Pruitt “is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege.” And on Thursday, he said the EPA head has “done a fantastic job. I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s been very courageous.”

Earlier in the week, Politico reported that Kelly had considered firing Pruitt as part of a string of dismissals in the administration, but decided instead to wait for a report from the EPA’s inspector general on his official travel spending.

A wave of controversies has come out about Pruitt in the last week, including that he rented a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist at a below-market rate, gave raises to two aides after the White House told him not to and demoted multiple officials after they questioned Pruitt’s spending and management decisions.

And for months, Pruitt has been criticized for spending taxpayer money on expenses like first-class travel and a soundproof booth for his office.