Scott Pruitt resigns after scandal-plagued tenure



After less than 18 scandal-filled months in office, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned Thursday.

Mr Pruitt had become a constant source of embarrassment to a president who had entered Washington promising to "drain the swamp".

Matt Drudge, the founder of the conservative news aggregator site Drudge Report, on Thursday shared the New York Post's Friday print edition that features Trump Cabinet officials as if they are competing in a season of "Survivor".

Scott Pruitt was able to keep his position for so long - despite astonishing megalomania and unethical behavior - only because of Donald Trump's historic embrace of corruption.

Wheeler, a former Senate staffer and EPA employee who spent the past decade representing coal, mining and other energy companies, will take the helm of the agency on Monday, Trump tweeted.

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The president added that he has "no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda".

He denied wrongdoing amid multiple inquiries into his conduct. "I knew that I had to say something".

Steve Milloy, who served on Trump's transition team at the EPA, told Breitbart News that Pruitt did a great job advancing the president's agenda of rolling back risky and damaging regulations President Barack Obama put in place, and Wheeler is just as committed as his former boss. But Wheeler told The Hill newspaper this week that he's not interested in the top EPA job.

And that really raised questions, especially as, over time, it emerged that the husband of this lobbyist who was the chairman of the law firm Williams & Jensen had repeatedly contacted the EPA on official business, raising questions about conflict of interest.

Pruitt's ethics issues have made him a favorite target of critics of the Trump administration.

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He has been under scrutiny for renting an apartment with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist.

On Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said the president and White House were looking into "troublesome" reports about Pruitt.

And Democrats have already criticized Wheeler in his role as deputy to Pruitt. He sought repeals of major Obama-era regulations like the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the US, or WOTUS, rule while arguing EPA needed to go "back to basics" with a focus on cleaning up toxic waste sites under the Superfund program and boosting water infrastructure to combat lead poisoning.

Despite his scandal-ridden tenure, his resignation came as a surprise to many in Washington because just a day prior to the announcement, Pruitt celebrated the July 4th holiday at the White House.

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