The Latest: Trump’s not OK with recent news about Pruitt
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on embattled Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt and the ethical questions surrounding his travel and ties to Washington lobbyists (all times local):
The White House says President Donald Trump is not OK with recent revelations involving embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The statement from spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders came as Pruitt spoke in a series of interviews with Fox News and other conservative media, attempting to shore up his eroding position.
Pruitt is denying he knew about big raises given to two of his closest aides while insisting he did nothing wrong in renting a bargain-priced condo tied to an energy lobbyist.
Sanders said Wednesday that the White House is reviewing the allegations against Pruitt and declined to confirm reports by The Associated Press and others that the president called Pruitt in recent days to offer support.
President Donald Trump is offing a measured gesture of support for Environmental Protection Agency Aministrator Scott Pruitt. But those words of encouragement also came with a White House warning about the ethical questions surrounding his travel spending and ties to Washington lobbyists.
Trump told reporters Tuesday, “I hope he’s going to be great.” But he declined to reiterate publicly his private praise for Pruitt’s work.
In a phone call Monday, Trump told the EPA chief that “we’ve got your back” and urged him to “keep his head up” and “keep fighting,” according to two administration officials. Trump’s call was quickly followed by one from chief of staff John Kelly, who laid out the White House’s displeasure over being caught blindsided by some of the ethical problems raised, according to two other officials.
Those officials said the praise referred to Pruitt’s work in loosening environmental regulations and his success at getting under the skin of environmental groups. But they added that the tone of Trump’s call was not entirely positive.