- Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is reportedly devastated after he was forced to resign.
- Pruitt was reportedly taken aback after White House chief of staff John Kelly told him it was time to leave
- The latest report contradicts President Donald Trump’s assertion that the decision “was very much up to” Pruitt.
- White House officials had been urging Trump for months to fire Pruitt, after a wave of scandals threatened to embarrass the administration even further.
Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is reportedly devastated after he was forced to resign, contradicting President Donald Trump’s account that the decision “was very much up to” Pruitt.
The former EPA head reluctantly resigned on Thursday after White House chief of staff John Kelly informed him it was time to leave, two people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.
Pruitt was reportedly taken aback by the request. He released a statement saying it was “extremely difficult” to continue his role due to numerous unflattering media reports.
The former administrator was plagued by scandals and faced at least 13 federal investigations related to his behaviour on the job and his handling of taxpayer money – including allegations that he asked a government aide to seek a “business opportunity” for his wife with the fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A.
White House officials had been advising Trump for months to fire Pruitt, according to Bloomberg and The New York Times. And despite being able to roll back environmental regulations that were important to the president, Pruitt’s long list of embarrassing scandals eventually caught up to him.
“It’s one thing after another with this guy,” a confidante quoted Trump as saying.
On Thursday, Trump said Pruitt’s resignation was voluntary and praised him for his service.
“Scott Pruitt did an outstanding job inside of the EPA,” Trump said, according to a pool report. “We’ve gotten rid of record breaking regulations and it’s been really. You know, obviously the controversies with Scott but within the agency we were extremely happy.”
“And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction,” Trump added. “It was very much up to him.”
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