Speed Reads

Pruitt Watch

EPA chief Scott Pruitt just lost 2 of his closest aides. A 3rd called a reporter a 'piece of trash.'

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has reportedly walled himself off from everyone at the agency except a core group of five aides, and two members of that inner circle, executive scheduler Millan Hupp and senior counselor Sarah Greenwalt, tendered their resignations on Wednesday. Both aides joined Pruitt's EPA from Oklahoma, where they had worked in his office when he was state attorney general, and Pruitt famously bucked the White House to give them hefty raises (which he rescinded when they became public).

Hupp, 26, was "tired of being thrown under the bus by Pruitt" and seeing her name in headlines about the raft of EPA scandals involving her boss, an EPA official told The Atlantic. She began drafting her resignation letter on Monday after a House committee released parts of her testimony about doing personal errands for Pruitt — searching for his housing, trying to obtain a used mattress from Trump International Hotel, and seeing about getting a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, among other tasks — during work hours. When The Atlantic's Elaina Plott contacted EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox — another member of Pruitt's inner circle — about Hupp's departure, he declined to comment except to say: "You have a great day, you're a piece of trash."

Pruitt has spent an infamously large amount of public money on his travel and security, and a scandalously small amount of his own money on rent; there are a dozen federal investigations of his conduct, and more than 100 lawmakers — including some Republicans — have called for his ouster. "Thank you Scott, very much. ... EPA is doing really, really well," President Trump said Wednesday at a FEMA hurricane-preparedness event attended by Pruitt. "Somebody has to say that about you a little bit, you know that, Scott."