"As I have stated previously, the condominium is not owned by Williams & Jensen, its partners, or any other employees of the firm, and any suggestion that Administrator Pruitt's short-term rental of one of its bedrooms in 2017 resulted in undue influence for the firm or its clients with business before the EPA is simply false", he continued".
On the heels of Minoli's memo, the EPA inspector general's office confirmed on Thursday that it has launched an investigation into Pruitt's conduct-the fourth such probe since he took over the EPA previous year.
Publicly, however, the president went out of his way to praise Pruitt. Pruitt sat down with Fox News Channel's Ed Henry in what he undoubtedly expected to be a friendly interview and was caught totally off guard by Henry's aggressive questioning about the rent and raise issues.
This dovetails with another Pruitt habit, which is a taste for traveling in high style.
On Tuesday, The Atlantic reported Pruitt had sidestepped the White House to give substantial pay raises to two EPA staffers. Lest we forget, it was Mr. Pruitt who was the loudest cheerleader for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. And in speaking to reporters on the plane, he described Mr. Pruitt as 'very courageous, ' while suggesting he was reviewing the complaints about him.
Democrats, such as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), have been quick to blast Pruitt for his expenditures on increased security this year, not realizing, they are the reason for the cost.
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Asked if renting from the wife of a Washington lobbyist violated Trump's mantra of "draining the swamp", Pruitt responded, "I don't think that's even remotely fair to ask that question".
Though the President has, at times, floated several people a day for multiple positions in his administration that are already occupied, the proposition reveals just how frustrated Trump remains with Sessions because of his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation more than a year ago, while signaling how confident he has remained in Pruitt despite a dizzying number of ethics issues.
"I think he's done a fantastic job". "You know, I just left coal and energy country. Mr. Pruitt needs to go", they wrote. "They feel very strongly about Scott Pruitt".
Over at the White House, Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to be extremely miffed he wasn't warned in advance that Trump's E.P.A. head was a ticking time bomb, telling Pruitt in a phone call that "the flow of negative and damning stories needed to stop".
Still, Trump said he would make a determination about the ethics issues.
The President has especially focused his frustration on Rosenstein in recent weeks, often repeating his complaint that he is weak and not on his team, sources familiar with the President's grievances have said.
President Donald Trump isn't quite ready to abandoned his EPA chief Scott Pruitt, defending him in a tweet Friday morning, while also dismissing a report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be ousted in favor of Pruitt.