Pruitt defends job at meeting with Trump

Eileen GuzmanApr 08, 2018

But Pelosi's call for Pruitt's resignation came just hours after Trump took to Twitter to defend the EPA chief and deny a report that he was planning to pick him to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

At the same time, Pruitt's defenders have been making a political argument, with some warning that Trump's support in Republican presidential primaries two years from now could be undermined if he jettisons one of the most conservative members of his cabinet.

The White House is reviewing Pruitt's actions. The security detail, "shifted his class based on certain security protocols that require him to be near the front of the plane", the EPA wrote in a letter last month.

Still, Pruitt seemed rejected any characterization of his behavior as embodying the very swamp-like behavior President Trump railed against in his 2016 presidential campaign.

Pruitt is facing several media reports raising concerns of pursuing perks in office including travel, new office furniture, getting discounted rental fees at his D.C. condo, and forcing out some of his EPA critics.

This decision could create some confusion at the state level.

In addition, The Atlantic reported that Pruitt had bypassed the White House to give two top aides, Sarah Greenwalt and Millan Hupp, substantial pay raises.

Pruitt also proposed in October a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule meant to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's electricity sector.

Take the flap over Mr. Pruitt's first-class air flights, as well as $120,000 for him and his security detail to visit Italy last summer for a G-7 meeting and $40,000 for a trip to Morocco.

The EPA's assistant inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, told CNN on November 2017, "We have at least four times - four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against [Obama's EPA Chief] Ms. McCarthy..."

Scott Pruitt slipped unannounced into the White House, where the US Environmental Protection Agency chief has caused plenty of headaches over the past week. "As a result, millions of Americans stand to suffer bad harm".

Democrats, such as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), have been quick to blast Pruitt for his expenditures on increased security this year, not realizing, they are the reason for the cost.

Pruitt, however, is digging in his heels, suggesting the criticism against him comes from the "environmental left", which is unhappy with his track record of cutting regulations.

Earlier, in a brief interview, Sanders said that Pruitt's success in achieving items on the president's agenda - including rolling back a large number of environmental regulations - may weigh heavily as a counterbalance to allegations that he misused taxpayer dollars. "I think he's done an incredible job", he said.

She said the White House, which has been conducting an internal investigation into Pruitt's conduct, was "continuing to review any of the concerns that we have".

The EPA chief has continued to tout his reform efforts as his most important accomplishments at the agency.

Mr. Trump on Thursday called Pruitt "very courageous" and praised his accomplishments at the EPA.

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