Trump: 'No final straw' on Pruitt

Trump: 'No final straw' on Pruitt
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE said Thursday that embattled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas EPA inspector general to resign Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog says agency failed to properly monitor asbestos at schools| Watchdog won’t investigate former Superfund head’s qualifications| Florence causes toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina MORE decided on his own to resign, underscoring he was not forced to exit over his mounting ethics problems. 

“No final straw,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked about Pruitt’s decision. “Scott is a terrific guy. And he came to me and he said, ‘I have such great confidence in the administration. I don’t want to be a distraction.’ And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction.”

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Asked if the decision was his own or the EPA chief’s, Trump responded, “it was very much up to him.”

Pruitt announced his resignation earlier Thursday as he became increasingly enveloped in controversies over accusations of improper spending of taxpayer money, self-dealing and inappropriate use of staff. 

Despite those controversies, Pruitt was able to remain in the president’s good graces for months due to his aggressive efforts to carry out a deregulation agenda — as well as his praise for Trump.

“He’ll go on to great things and he’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope,” Trump said.

Pruitt is the fifth member of Trump’s Cabinet to be fired or quit in just 18 months, a staggering level of turnover for an administration.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle applauded Pruitt's decision to step down, with GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North MORE (S.C.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight Grassley: No reason to delay Kavanaugh hearing Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation MORE (Iowa), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump privately calls Mattis ‘Moderate Dog’: report Push to change wildlife act sparks lobbying blitz House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill MORE (Wyo.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGrassley: No reason to delay Kavanaugh hearing Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Ford: ‘Mr. President, refer to her by her name’ MORE (Maine) all releasing statements saying Trump was right to accept the resignation.