EPA Administrator Pruitt’s Future Uncertain
Amidst a period of turnover within the Trump administration – the month of March alone saw the departure of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – questions now loom regarding the job stability of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Within the past 24 hours, Pruitt was reportedly on the receiving end of phone calls from both President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, according to a report in Politico.
The phone conversations were confirmed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who, according to other reports, “said the message to Pruitt was that ‘we’ve got your back.’”
The questions surrounding Pruitt’s job status largely stem from questions regarding what some view as unnecessary travel expenses on the taxpayer’s dime, as well as potential inappropriate use of official resources. The EPA Inspector General is currently overseeing an investigation into the matter that, according to NPR has “widened…multiple times.”
Trump commented publicly on Pruitt’s status in a public meeting today, saying, “I hope he’s going to be great.”
However, as Politico notes, “In Trump’s White House…messages of support do not always carry much weight and can quickly be followed by an ouster, as was the case with former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.”
Even some fellow Republicans had begun turning on Pruitt, as of this writing, with Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida becoming likely the first Republican to call for Pruitt’s resignation, Tweeting, ““Major policy differences aside, @EPAScottPruitt‘s corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers. It's time for him to resign or for @POTUS to dismiss him.”
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