Kelly wants Trump to remove Pruitt: report

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has told President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I’m ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated FBI rules MORE that he thinks Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittMake-or-break moment for EPA chief Pruitt EPA proposal will hobble good science and harm American families Overnight Energy: Pruitt faces grilling before House | Park Police forbidden from using body cams | Macron thinks US will return to Paris agreement 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.