Interim EPA chief called Trump a ‘bully’ during campaign

Interim EPA chief called Trump a ‘bully’ during campaign
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The incoming interim head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the presidential campaign called President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE a “bully” who “really hasn’t been that successful” in business.

Andrew Wheeler, who has been the EPA’s deputy administrator since April and will soon be acting administrator thanks to Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOn The Money: New financial disclosures provide glimpse of Trump's wealth | Walmart, Macy's say tariffs will mean price hikes | Consumer agency says Education Department blocking student loan oversight Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Lawmakers take EPA head to task for refusing to demand Pruitt repay travel expenses MORE's resignation, wrote the comments in a February 2016 Facebook post.

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In the post, Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist, wrote a six-part condemnation of Trump. It included that “no one really knows what his political beliefs are,” “he doesn’t really understand how government works,” “he has more baggage then all other Republican candidates combined” and “he is a bully.”

At the time, Wheeler supported Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Ending the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean MORE (R-Fla.) for president. But he told The Washington Post, which first uncovered the blog post last year, that he came to support Trump later in 2016, after Rubio exited the race, when Trump spoke at an event hosted by coal mining company Murray Energy Corp., one of his lobbying clients.

“I made those comments during my time working on the Rubio presidential campaign,” Wheeler said in a statement to The Hill. “In June 2016, I attended a speech from then candidate Donald Trump in Wheeling, WV. He gave a 40-minute energy speech where he didn’t use notes or a teleprompter. And as I have stated previously it was the most comprehensive energy speech by a presidential candidate I had ever heard. I then joined the Trump campaign and worked on environmental policy for him.”

Trump pointed out to reporters late Thursday that Wheeler had helped with his presidential campaign, though he incorrectly said that Wheeler backed Trump from early on.

“He was very much an early Trump supporter. He was with us on the campaign,” Trump said. “He is a very environmental person. He’s a big believer, and he’s going to do a fantastic job.”

Pruitt announced his resignation on Thursday, following a barrage of ethics and spending scandals that have overshadowed his time as EPA chief.