Scott Pruitt's time is rapidly running out

Scott Pruitt's time as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency seems nearly over.On Tuesday, President...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 10:32 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 10:32 AM

Scott Pruitt's time as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency seems nearly over.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump was asked about the embattled Pruitt and offered this cryptic thought: "I hope he's going to be great."

Then on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump was "OK" with a deal Pruitt received on rent for a room in a condo owned by an energy lobbyist.

"The President is not (OK with it)," said Sanders. "We are reviewing the situation. When we have had the chance to have done a deeper dive on that we will let you know the outcomes of that. We are currently revising that at that White House."

Ahem.

Meanwhile, Pruitt apologized just hours before Sanders' statement. No, he wasn't apologizing for the whole room-rent thing. He was apologizing for the fact that someone in his office -- apparently unbeknownst to him -- sought to bypass the White House to secure large pay raises for two members of his staff.

When asked why he gave the staffers raises, Pruitt told Fox News' Ed Henry on Wednesday, "I did not."

"My staff did, and I found out about that yesterday and I changed it," he continued.

Riiiiight.

So, here's the thing. We know Trump likes how Pruitt has run the EPA since being chosen as its administrator. He's drastically scaled back environmental regulations and was a major champion of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

"The President thinks he is doing a good job, particularly on the deregulation front," Sanders acknowledged on Wednesday.

"But again, we take this seriously and we are looking into it," Sanders said when asked if Trump had faith in Pruitt.

Running counter to Trump's approval for what Pruitt has done at the EPA is the fact the environmental chief has created an absolute avalanche of negative headlines for Trump's administration. Before the rent fiasco and the attempted pay raises, there were the headlines about the tens of thousands of dollars Pruitt spent flying on government planes and in first class, due, he argued, to security threats from people who were unhappy with the changes he had implemented at EPA.

There's nothing Trump hates more than negative press that he himself doesn't cause. And Pruitt's answer on the attempted raises -- I was clueless about my staff trying to secure $80,000 in raises for themselves! -- isn't exactly a great defense.

Yes, Trump apparently called Pruitt earlier this week to tell him that the White House was behind him. But that was before the latest pay raise debacle.

The Trump statement on Tuesday, coupled with Sanders' thoughts Wednesday, sends a very clear signal that the boss isn't happy with Pruitt. And when Donald Trump isn't happy with people, he fires them. Or more accurately, given recent history, has chief of staff John Kelly tell them to look out for a tweet from Trump sometime soon.

We know -- because Trump told us a few weeks back -- that the President is still eyeing a few more changes to his Cabinet before he is fully satisfied. It's hard at this point to see how Pruitt isn't the next one to fall.

The only complicating factor? Trump has struggled -- particularly in recent months -- to convince people to take top-level jobs in his administration due to the ever-present chaos on display at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Finding a Pruitt replacement could be tough. Getting that person confirmed through a narrowly divided Senate with the midterm elections approaching might be even harder.

Those issues might delay Pruitt's removal. But at this point, it appears only a delay to the inevitable.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
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