Pruitt turned down White House help on congressional testimony: reports

Pruitt turned down White House help on congressional testimony: reports
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE reportedly turned down an offer from the White House to help him prepare for his upcoming congressional testimony on Thursday.

Pruitt instead chose to prepare for hearings with the House Appropriations and Energy and Commerce committees alongside a team of loyal advisers that he brought to Washington, D.C., from Oklahoma, according to ABC News.

The EPA’s response to the offer of help could best be characterized as “get lost,” a White House official told the Daily Beast.

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The EPA administrator is likely to face hours of intense questioning on Thursday regarding a number of ongoing scandals.

Sources told ABC News, however, that Pruitt’s preparation for the hearings has focused mainly on policy issues and not on the controversies, which include — among others — his $43,000 purchase of a soundproof booth for his office suite, his authorization of raises for two longtime aides after the White House rejected the increases, his travel expenses and his rental of a Washington, D.C., condominium from the wife of an energy lobbyist.

Some 170 Democratic senators and representatives signed a resolution last week calling for Pruitt's resignation, in part over his handling of taxpayer money.

Many Republicans view Pruitt as an effective EPA chief who has excelled at rolling back regulations, but there have been reports all his negative press is causing his stock to sink in the White House. 

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has advised Trump to fire the former Oklahoma attorney general. And the White House has begun telling conservatives to ease off on their defenses of Pruitt, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.