Kelly wants Trump to remove Pruitt: report
White House chief of staff John Kelly has told President Trump that he thinks Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt 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.
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.
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