President Trump has done an amazing job assembling a solid cabinet, after over of year of letting go of the wrong people and hiring the right ones.
The latest resignation doesn’t appear to be anything hostile currently (though he’s had some dust-ups in the past)… nothing more than professional courtesy and the two will part ways as friends.
Scott Pruitt resigned from his position leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday, following months of high-profile controversies regarding his spending, ethics and management at the agency.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” President Trump announced in a tweet. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”
Wheeler, who the Senate confirmed in April to be deputy administrator at the EPA, will become acting administrator when Pruitt leaves.
Pruitt has been engulfed in high-profile scandals and under fire by both parties in recent months regarding spending taxpayer money for travel and security, his close relationships with lobbyists and industry, and allegations he used government resources and staff for personal gain, among other controversies.
He is facing more than a federal dozen investigations over the controversies, including from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Trump expressed confidence in the embattled EPA chief as recently as last month.
“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we’re setting records,” Trump said June 8, adding, “I’m not saying that he’s blameless, but we’ll see what happens.”
But Pruitt had been losing the confidence of top White House officials and career staffers at the agency, and many of his closest aides left as the scandals grew.
“The president feels as though Scott Pruitt has done a really good job with deregulating the government, to allow for a thriving economy, that’s important to him, but these things matter to the president as well, and he’s looking into those,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters July 3.