Trump asked Pruitt to resign in message delivered by Kelly: report

Trump asked Pruitt to resign in message delivered by Kelly: report
© Getty Images

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE told Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEPA rule proposes to expand limitations on scientific studies Overnight Energy: Fight between EPA watchdog, agency lawyers heats up | Top EPA official under investigation over document destruction | DOJ issues subpoenas to automakers in California emissions pact Top EPA official under investigation in document destruction MORE that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE wanted him to step down before confirming his resignation on Thursday, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Sources told Bloomberg that Pruitt had no intention of resigning and was surprised and devastated by the request.

Kelly’s ask came after reports that Pruitt’s staff would “scrub” events from his calendar before making the entries public — according to Bloomberg, the revelation embarrassed Trump, ultimately prompting him to call for Pruitt's resignation.

The reported “secret” calendars could be in violation of the Federal Records Act, adding to the more than a dozen allegations that Pruitt violated ethical or spending standards while serving as EPA administrator.

ADVERTISEMENT

One source told Bloomberg that Trump was also embarrassed by reports that Pruitt enlisted an aide to help him obtain a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump had been privately floating the idea of Pruitt's resignation for months, frequently being encouraged by top advisers to dismiss the embattled EPA head. 

The president also was reportedly embarrassed by a CNN report Tuesday that Pruitt had asked Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFive things to watch at Supreme Court's DACA hearings Trump attends football game with Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate race opponent Bradley Byrne Impeachment tests Barr-Trump relationship MORE and temporarily appoint him to lead the Justice Department, according to the Times.

Pruitt resigned on Thursday after facing months of mounting ethical scandals and federal investigations. Trump announced the resignation on Twitter.

Trump disputed that Pruitt was asked to resign, telling reporters on Thursday that the decision “was very much up to him.”