Donald Trump’s scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt resigns

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US President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of his scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt.

Mr Pruitt, the head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), faced a series of controversies over his travel spending, security costs, dealings with industry lobbyists and alleged misuse of government resources.

He denied wrongdoing amid multiple inquiries into his conduct.

Mr Trump confirmed Mr Pruitt’s resignation on Twitter, saying he had done “an outstanding job”.

Mr Pruitt sparked controversy last year when he contradicted his own organisation’s advice by saying he did not believe that carbon dioxide is a main contributor to global warming.

He was forced out following a series of revelations involving pricey trips with first-class airline seats and unusual security spending, including a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls.

He demanded 24-hour-a-day protection from armed officers, resulting in a swollen 20-member security team that blew through overtime budgets and racked up expenses of more than $3 million.

He had also ordered his EPA staff to do personal chores for him, picking up dry cleaning and trying to obtain a used Trump hotel mattress for his apartment.

His job had been in jeopardy since it emerged he had leased a property last year that was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist, whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from the EPA.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt takes his seat prior to his testimony before the House Appropriations Committee during a hearing on the 2019 Fiscal Year EPA budget at the Capitol on April 26, 2018  Donald Trump’s scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt resigns skynews scott pruitt epa 4344065
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Mr Pruitt was facing multiple inquiries

Meanwhile, activists argued Mr Pruitt’s policies of moving to boost fossil fuel production and rollback regulations opposed by corporate interests had endangered the environment.

Kieran Suckling, from America’s Centre for Biological Diversity, said: “Despite his brief tenure, Pruitt was the worst EPA chief in history.

“His corruption was his downfall, but his pro-polluter policies will have our kids breathing dirtier air long after his many scandals are forgotten.”

Donald Trump
  Donald Trump’s scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt resigns skynews donald trump president 4354360
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Mr Trump said Mr Pruitt had done an ‘outstanding job’

Mr Pruitt’s resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office last year.

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert resigned in April, a month after Rex Tillerson was fired as secretary of state.

Mr Trump’s long-serving adviser Hope Hicks quit her role as White House communications director in February, while the president’s chief strategist Steve Bannon left his post last August.

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.

Andrew Wheeler, the EPA’s current deputy administrator, will take over as the organisation’s acting head on Monday, Mr Trump said.





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