EPA’s Pruitt Resigns Amid Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned on Thursday following intense scrutiny for his spending and controversial decisions as head of the agency.

President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday, writing that he had accepted the embattled EPA administrator’s resignation.

“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” the President tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”

During the past few months, Pruitt found himself embroiled in a number of ethics controversies which culminated with his resignations due to “the unrelenting attacks” on him and his family, which Pruitt said had “taken a sizable toll on all of us.” The resignation also comes two days after an exclusive CNN investigation revealed a former top aide claimed Pruitt and his staffers held regular meetings to alter or remove controversial events from his calendar.

In the resignation letter to President Trump, Pruitt said it was “extremely difficult” for him not to serve in that role anymore “because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.” He went on to say that the attacks on him have, however, taken a toll.

Pruitt will be replaced by his recently Senate-confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler, who is to assume the duty of administrator on Monday. Trump also expressed confidence that he will do a great job as well.

“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”

Later on Thursday, the President also noted that the allegations against Pruitt didn’t bother him and that the EPA administrator himself decided to resign so as not to present a “distraction” to the work of the administration. Trump said Pruitt had approached him about resigning “a couple of days” before and asserted the decision was “very much up to” Pruitt.

“He’ll go on to great things,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One. “He’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope.”

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