White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has advised President Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Friday, as the Environmental Protection Agency chief's mountain of ethics scandals grows ever higher.
Also Friday, The Associated Press reported Pruitt has spent millions of EPA funding on a full-time, 20-person security team for himself, a detail about three times larger than his Obama administration predecessor's part-time team. His security agents have received so much overtime pay some have hit annual salary caps of $160,000 — in April. Some of these agents are investigators who otherwise would be assigned to EPA field work.
Pruitt is already under scrutiny for a rental arrangement with an energy lobbyist, raises for favored EPA employees, and reassignments or demotions for unfavored employees, notably those who questioned his official expenditures.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday the administration is "continuing to review any of the concerns that we have" about Pruitt. "No one other than the president has the authority to hire and fire members of his Cabinet," she said. "It's a decision that he'll make."