Pruitt wants to be Trump's attorney general: report
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA finalizes 'secret science' rule, limiting use of public health research | Trump administration finalizes rollback of migratory bird protections | Kerry raises hopes for focus on climate security at NSC EPA finalizes 'secret science' rule, limiting use of public health research White House appears to conclude review of EPA 'secret science' rule MORE is reportedly interested in becoming President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE's attorney general, associates close to Pruitt told Politico

Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general, is "very interested" in the spot, three people with knowledge of the situation told Politico. "He has expressed that on a number of occasions." 

Since taking office, Pruitt has reportedly garnered favor with Trump and has led the administration's deregulation efforts by walking back Obama-era environmental policies and spearheading the administration's move to exit the Paris climate accord. 

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The EPA has also lost more than 700 employees under Pruitt, according to a December report, including researchers and policy specialists. 

The administrator's interest in the position comes amid calls by conservative lawmakers for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds Sen. Hawley tramples the 2020 vote in his run to 2024 MORE to resign over the Justice Department's handling of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, though the EPA has denied Pruitt's ambition for the job. 

“No, this is not true,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told Politico. “From creating regulatory certainty to cleaning up toxic Superfund sites, Administrator Pruitt is solely focused on implementing President Trump’s agenda to protect the environment.”

Trump previously fueled speculation that he may fire Sessions over the summer, after the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions said he would remain in office as long as he had the confidence of the president, despite Trump's public attacks against him. 

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Trump worked to keep Sessions from recusing himself. According to the report, Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to prevent Sessions from recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sessions’s recusal led to Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE appointing special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia probe.

Mueller’s probe has produced charges against four former Trump aides and officials, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.