Kelly wants Trump to remove Pruitt: report

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has told President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE that he thinks Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Saluting FOIA on its birthday Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report MORE has to go, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But despite Kelly’s conclusion — and that of other White House aides — that Pruitt’s recent scandals should push him out of the Trump administration, the president doesn’t want to fire him, the Journal said Friday, citing a White House official.

Trump instead values Pruitt’s deregulatory policies and commitment to his agenda.

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Trump tweeted earlier Friday that Pruitt “is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege.” And on Thursday, he said the EPA head has “done a fantastic job. I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s been very courageous.”

Earlier in the week, Politico reported that Kelly had considered firing Pruitt as part of a string of dismissals in the administration, but decided instead to wait for a report from the EPA’s inspector general on his official travel spending.

A wave of controversies has come out about Pruitt in the last week, including that he rented a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist at a below-market rate, gave raises to two aides after the White House told him not to and demoted multiple officials after they questioned Pruitt’s spending and management decisions.

And for months, Pruitt has been criticized for spending taxpayer money on expenses like first-class travel and a soundproof booth for his office.