Trump is apparently mad at Scott Pruitt now
President Trump's patience with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is wearing thin.
White House aides are urging Trump to fire EPA chief Scott Pruitt, and the president himself is reaching his breaking point, The New York Times reports.
Trump has backed Pruitt for months despite the 11 federal investigations the EPA chief faces related to his recent ethics scandals. But officials say that he now sees Pruitt's problems as a "bottomless pit," and doesn't want to wait and see where it ends. CNN reports that Trump is starting to believe that Pruitt's scandals are more disruptive than they're worth and has revetted deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler, who would take over if Pruitt was ousted. The White House has denied that Pruitt is on his way out.
But it isn't Pruitt's spending on lavish trips or choice to live in a lobbyist's condo that has Trump worried about his future in the administration. The Atlantic reported last week that Pruitt had tried to spread negative stories about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an effort to distract from the scandals plaguing the EPA, and CNN reports that Trump thought the machinations crossed a line. White House sources told CNN that "the ground has absolutely shifted" in light of Pruitt's reported lack of loyalty, though the EPA denies Pruitt ever tried to smear Zinke.