President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE said he’s “not happy” with certain aspects of the ethics and spending scandals involving Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Trump-era EPA board member sues over firing EPA bans use of pesticide linked to developmental problems in children MORE.
“I’m looking at Scott, and Scott’s done a fantastic job at EPA,” Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. “I’m not happy about certain things. I’ll be honest.”
Trump added that Pruitt has “done a fantastic job running the EPA, which is very overriding. But I am not happy about it.”
The embattled EPA chief is under continuous fire over allegations that he’s wasted taxpayer money on himself, violated ethics standards and used government staff for personal tasks like running errands and finding jobs for his wife at Chick-fil-A and conservative organizations.
He’s under more than a dozen federal investigations for controversial moves such as spending $3.5 million for a personal security detail and renting a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist for just $50 for each night he spent there.
Just Friday morning, the EPA confirmed that Pruitt had a communications consultant with energy clients help get him tickets to the Rose Bowl game and had his staff assist in getting his daughter a White House internship.
Trump has consistently stood by Pruitt amid the scandals and has come out multiple times recently to say that he stands by the EPA head.
But conservatives and GOP lawmakers have started to sour on Pruitt. In recent days, Fox News host Laura Ingraham has called on Trump to fire Pruitt for embarrassing the president, while Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan GOP lawmakers worry vaccine mandate will impact defense supply chain Top GOP senators want joint review of Afghan visa process MORE (R-Okla.) has said Pruitt, who was attorney general of Inhofe's home state before taking over the EPA, may need to step down.
Nonetheless, Pruitt has continued carrying out the aggressive deregulatory agenda that has caused Trump and many in the GOP to stand by him.
Friday morning, Pruitt announced that he had submitted for final White House review a proposal to restrict the waterways that get federal protection from pollution under the Clean Water Act.
--This report was updated on June 17 at 10:13 a.m.