Trump: Pruitt ‘is doing a great job’

Trump: Pruitt ‘is doing a great job’
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations MORE said Friday that embattled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Senate panel sets Pruitt hearing | Colorado joins California with tougher emissions rules | Court sides with Trump on coal leasing program Pruitt to testify before Senate panel in August Lots of conservatives hate Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout — that’s a big political problem MORE “is doing a great job.”

But Trump put a slight caveat in his praise for the EPA head, saying Pruitt isn’t completely “blameless.”

“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we're setting records,” Trump said as he prepared to leave for the G7 conference in Canada. He did not specify what “records” are being set.

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“Outside, he's being attacked very viciously by the press,” Trump continued. “And I'm not saying that he’s blameless, but we'll see what happens.”

It’s the second time Trump has offered public praise for Pruitt this week.

“EPA is doing really, really well,” Trump said at a Federal Emergency Management Agency meeting. “Somebody has to say that about you a little bit, you know that, Scott.”

The praise comes during a week when the scandals centered on Pruitt’s ethical and spending decisions, and his use of taxpayer-funded staff and resources, are piling up. Democrats are repeating their calls for Pruitt to step down or be fired, and many Republicans are getting more forceful in their criticisms over the controversies.

In this week alone, documents and news reports have revealed or alleged that Pruitt assigned his staff or security detail to do numerous personal tasks such as buying a used mattress, picking up his dry-cleaning and driving to multiple Ritz-Carlton hotels to track down a lotion he wanted.

Pruitt also used his position and resources to try to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise.