Trump says EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned on his own. Everyone else seems to believe he was fired.

Scott Pruitt a day before his sudden resignation
(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump said Thursday evening that there was "no final straw" that led embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to tender his resignation earlier in the afternoon, insisting that stepping down was "very much up to him. ... Look, Scott is a terrific guy. And he came to me and he said 'I have such great confidence in the administration. I don't want to be a distraction.' And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction." Few others in Trump's orbit subscribe to that story line.

"In fact, Trump had begun to grow tired of the torrent of negative news stories about Pruitt and had come to believe they were a distraction that wouldn't go away," Politico reports, citing an administration official. "Pruitt, who believes he has a strong personal relationship with Trump, has told allies repeatedly in recent months that he wasn't worried about his job, insisting that the president had his back." In the end, The Washington Post adds, citing two administration officials, "Trump forced Pruitt out Thursday without speaking to him — instead having his chief of staff call the Environmental Protection Agency around midday to say it was time for Pruitt to go."

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