It's hard to imagine having a worse week at work than EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's.
A top aide, Samantha Dravis, resigned; his ethics firewall is crumbling over an apparent sweetheart rental deal from the wife of a top lobbyist whose firm lobbies the EPA; two EPA officials and a White House official tell The Washington Post that Pruitt ordered two hefty and problematic raises he just denied knowing about on Fox News; the Fox News interview backfired; and it was reported that he retaliated against officials who objected to a proposed $100,000-a-month charter jet service, $70,000 for two office desks, and the use of sirens when he was running late. Among other scandals.
Trump backed Pruitt on Thursday, telling reporters en route to West Virginia that he has confidence in Pruitt and, on the way back, that he'll "have to look at" at Pruitt's reported actions but "he's done a terrific job. ... I think that Scott has done a fantastic job. I think he's a fantastic person." Still, Trump's reportedly asking friends and advisers what he should do with Pruitt, he was put off by Pruitt's Fox News interview, and while CNN says Trump started the week suggesting Pruitt might replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, the job Pruitt apparently really wants, the EPA administrator ended the week with mounting questions about whether he can keep the job he has.
Conservative groups, Republican senators, and Rush Limbaugh are pushing to keep Pruitt where he is, and Trump told reporters Thursday that "Scott's doing a great job where he is," and he has no plans to move him. "I just left coal and energy country, they love Scott Pruitt," he said. "They feel very strongly about Scott Pruitt." For now, Politico reports, "Pruitt's situation is a rare instance in which the president has remained loyal longer than other members of the White House staff, who are eager to see Pruitt gone."