Pruitt hits back at critics: They 'will resort to anything'

Pruitt hits back at critics: They 'will resort to anything'

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEPA looks to other statutes to expand scope of coming 'secret science' rule EPA ordered to reconsider New York efforts to tame downwind pollution OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten smog standards amid pressure from green groups | Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects| Russian mining giant reports another fuel spill in Arctic MORE on Tuesday hit back at his critics in "toxic" Washington as he faces mounting pressure to step down over a string of controversies.

“There are people that have long in this town done business a different way and this agency has been the poster child of it. And so do I think that because we are leading on this agenda that there are some who want to keep that from happening? Absolutely. And do I think that they will resort to anything to achieve that? Yes,” Pruitt told told Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner.

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“It’s toxic here in that regard,” Pruitt added.

“This president’s courage and commitment to make those things happen and him empowering his teammates in each of these respective agencies to say, 'go forth and get results and get accountability,' it’s happening. It’s happening here, it’s happening elsewhere. And do I think that is something that some folks don’t like? Absolutely. And do I think they’ll use any means to [stop] it? Absolutely. And it’s frustrating," he said. 

The new interview comes the same day calls grew for Pruitt to go, even as President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE gave his EPA chief a vote of confidence. 

Pruitt has faced multiple controversies recently, including reports that he leased a $50-per-night condo on Capitol Hill owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist for a period last year.

The Atlantic reported on Monday that Pruitt used an obscure legal provision to bypass the White House and give raises to two top staffers.

He is also under fire for a Washington Post report that the EPA considered a $100,000-per-month private jet lease.

Various Democrats have hit Pruitt, including Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who called on him to resign. 

Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) also called for his dismissal on Tuesday. 

While the White House has launched an internal review into the allegations surrounding Pruitt, Trump has expressed his support for the administrator. 

The president told the EPA chief to “keep your head up, keep fighting” and that “we have your back,” according to multiple media reports.

White House chief of staff John Kelly called Pruitt Tuesday morning to reiterate Trump’s message.

Trump commented on Pruitt during a press conference on Tuesday, saying "I hope he's going to be great.”