White House looking into Pruitt activities after condo controversy: report

White House looking into Pruitt activities after condo controversy: report
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The White House is reportedly reviewing EPA chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA halts surprise inspections of power, chemical plants | Regulators decline to ban pesticide linked to brain damage | NY awards country's largest offshore wind energy contracts EPA allows continued use of pesticide linked with brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump officials gut DC staff for public lands agency to move West | Democrats slam EPA over scientific boards | Deepwater Horizon most litigated environmental issue of decade MORE's activities amid a controversy over a past housing arrangement. 

It was reported last week that Pruitt rented a Washington, D.C., condo co-owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 a night, well below market rate. 

The New York Times reported Monday that the EPA approved a project for one of the lobbyist's companies while Pruitt was staying in the condo.

A White House official has now told The Wall Street Journal that the administration is launching the inquiry to "dig a little deeper" into the rental agreement. 

A top EPA ethics official said in a statement on Friday that the arrangement did not violate EPA ethics rules. 

It was also revealed that Pruitt's daughter occasionally stayed with him in the condo. 

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Pruitt has been at the center of several controversies surrounding his personal spending. It was reported earlier this year that he spent more than $105,000 in taxpayer dollars on first-class travel while on agency business. It was also reported Monday that Pruitt's aides were considering leasing a private jet for him for $100,000 a month. 

Pruitt has also been scrutinized for his use of a 24-7 security detail, and for the EPA installing a soundproof "privacy booth" in his office suite at agency headquarters, reportedly costing more than $43,000.

The top Senate Democrat overseeing EPA's funding said last month that Pruitt is not cooperating with inquiries into that soundproof booth.

The inquiry into Pruitt's activities comes amid a shake-up within Trump's top ranks. In recent weeks, he has fired his Veterans Affairs secretary, his secretary of State and his national security adviser, among other high-profile departures. 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a longtime Trump ally, said Sunday that he thinks Pruitt could be on his way out after the condo controversy, telling ABC News: "I don’t know how you survive this one."