EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns After Months of High-Profile Scandals

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns After Months of High-Profile Scandals

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns After Months of High-Profile Scandals

Sen. John Barrasso, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and until Thursday a strong defender of Pruitt, said Trump made the right decision to accept the resignation.

Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an excellent job", Trump tweeted "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", he added.

EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, will take the helm as acting administrator starting Monday.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) was Pruitt's mentor and staunch supporter until he could no longer face the endless ethical transgressions of his former protege.

Mr. Pruitt had been seen Wednesday at the White House celebrating Independence Day at an annual picnic for military families at the president's invitation.

"I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment in our country", she said to Mr. Pruitt while holding her young son. In a statement, independent Senator Bernie Sanders said: "Scott Pruitt was the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency". A report from The Washington Post in March outlined further travel expenses from Pruitt, totaling about $68,000 and including a almost $20,000, four-day trip to Morocco and a series of first class flights.

Over the past few months, Pruitt has become somewhat of a political liability for the Trump administration, drawing the scrutiny of federal investigators and even prompting criticism from the EPA's ethics officer Kevin Minoli.

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

All told, Pruitt left EPA having faced more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency, including his first-class plane travel, a room that he rented from a lobbyist at $50 per night and the installation of a soundproof booth in his office. Pruitt also allegedly used office resources for personal matters, which included an attempt to get a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, Marilyn.

In the post, Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist, wrote a six-part condemnation of Trump. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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