Embattled Scott Pruitt out as head of Environmental Protection Agency


Last month, the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia asked Trump's press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave, because staff felt they could not serve her in good conscience after she defended the president's attempt to ban transgender people from the USA military.

Pruitt's decision to resign came as several investigations - including from the EPA's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - focused on his controversies. "The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us", he said.

Pruitt has for months faced increasing pressure to resign amid a laundry list of reports into his ethically questionable leadership at the agency.

Previous allegations have involved reports that Pruitt used his position and government resources to try to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise, a used mattress from a Trump hotel, and a deal on a room rental from a Washington lobbyist couple. There have been calls among Democrats for months now for President Trump to fire Pruitt, but it looks as if the distaste for the EPA chief's style has crossed party lines.

The official, describing the feeling within the administration towards Pruitt, wondered whether the EPA administrator would still hold his job as he could crop up in Democratic candidates' ads hitting President Donald Trump's "swamp".

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While serving as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt was one of the chief architects of the legal battle against Obama's climate change policies and repeatedly sued the agency. The EPA told the outlet it wouldn't comment "on anonymous sources who are working to distract Americans from the Trump administration's accomplishments on regulatory certainty and environmental stewardship". Many of the EPA regulations Pruitt scraped or delayed had not yet taken effect, and the tens of thousands of lost coal mining jobs the president pledged to bring back never materialized.

Mr. Pruitt's spokesman, Lincoln Ferguson, said he thanked Mrs. Mink for her words and left shortly after finishing his meal.

In April, Trump defended him in a tweet. He also had a $43,000 phone booth installed in his office.

Chmielewski told CNN that he was booted from the EPA after he asked too many questions about Pruitt's spending habits and management.

Both Pruitt and the lobbyist, Steven Hart, denied he had conducted any recent business with EPA.