Trump jokingly congratulated acting EPA chief on not acting like Pruitt: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE has reportedly jokingly congratulated acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler on avoiding ethics scandals that plagued his predecessor, Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittWe're not effectively protecting Americans from measles, air pollution or food poisoning The problem for Trump appointees Dems probing whether EPA officials violated ethics rules MORE.

The Washington Post reported Friday, citing senior administration officials, that Trump on more than one occasion congratulated Wheeler for not attempting to buy a used mattress from the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., which Pruitt once reportedly tried to do.

The detail came in a story examining Pruitt's job prospects in the wake of his departure from the Trump administration following months of scrutiny over his first-class travel and other decisions including a discount condo rental and use of staff for personal purposes.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill about the report on Friday.

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Pruitt’s term as EPA administrator was plagued by a series of ethics scandals, including misusing federal funds for personal gain, among other issues. He resigned in July while facing more than 13 federal investigations into his conduct.

Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist, is seen as a firm ally on Trump’s policies to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations.

He has overseen some of the most far-reaching EPA actions under the Trump administration, such as introducing proposals to roll back or repeal limits on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, car fuel efficiency standards and limits on methane pollution from oil and natural gas drillers.

“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!” Trump said when announcing his appointment in July.

The Post reported Friday citing friends and associates that Pruitt is now promoting coal exports and doing other work for a longtime friend in the coal industry while pitching himself as an energy consultant and paid speaker.