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 PruittScience matters: Thankfully, EPA leadership once again agrees Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Saluting FOIA on its birthday 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. 


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."