Trump's scandal-hit environment chief Pruitt resigns


President Donald Trump says he has accepted the resignation of scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, but insists there was no "final straw". Wheeler is widely expected to continue Pruitt's efforts to roll back and streamline regulation, something that Trump had promised in his presidential campaign. Pruitt's management of the agency has prompted a series of investigations.

Pruitt made no mention of the various ethics complaints in his resignation letter, instead praising Trump for having "blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated".

The group also joined others nationwide to work toward the passing of the Future Energy Jobs Act for the growth of solar and wind energy jobs.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", added Trump. It's still unclear. What we do know: His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, holds views similar to Pruitt's.

The president expressed confidence he would go on to do "great things". "That was the position he was originally interested in".

Pruitt, a former Republican attorney general in Oklahoma, resigned suddenly Thursday amid ethics investigations into lavish spending on first-class airline travel and using his office to seek jobs for his wife. Arriving in Washington, he worked relentlessly to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations that aimed to reduce toxic pollution and planet-warming carbon emissions. Those groups applauded his departure.

Pruitt was under increasing pressure to resign following several controversies which alleged that he had misused public funds and exploited executive privileges for personal benefits during his time at the EPA.

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Wheeler told the Washington Examiner earlier this year he was focusing on repairing relationships with EPA career staff who bristled at Pruitt's leadership.

Wheeler's previous capacity at the EPA was as deputy administrator, Pruitt's second in command.

Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition: "Someone needs to make sure Scott Pruitt doesn't smuggle his $43,000 soundproof phone booth out of the EPA offices".

Then came reports of the large number of bodyguards he kept around him 24 hours a day, doubling the cost of his predecessors' security detail. The same lobbyist also asked Pruitt's chief of staff to see if a family friend of his could be hired by the EPA.

Pruitt's job had been in jeopardy since the end of March, when ABC News first reported that he leased a Capitol Hill condo previous year for just $50 a night. The company paid Wheeler's firm at least $300,000 each year between 2009 and 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Both Pruitt and the lobbyist, Steven Hart, denied he had conducted any recent business with EPA. Lawmakers posed tough questions on a range of issues also including raises for top aides and reports of retaliation against EPA whistleblowers.

Other notable departures include former national security advisers Michael Flynn and HR McMaster, ex-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, communications director Anthony Scaramucci, press secretary Sean Spicer and economic adviser Gary Cohn.