Scott Pruitt's time is rapidly running out

Scott Pruitt's time as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency seems nearly over.On Tuesday, President...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 9:32 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 9:32 AM

Scott Pruitt's time as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency seems nearly over.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump was asked about the embattled Pruitt and offered this cryptic thought: "I hope he's going to be great."

Then on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump was "OK" with a deal Pruitt received on rent for a room in a condo owned by an energy lobbyist.

"The President is not (OK with it)," said Sanders. "We are reviewing the situation. When we have had the chance to have done a deeper dive on that we will let you know the outcomes of that. We are currently revising that at that White House."

Ahem.

Meanwhile, Pruitt apologized just hours before Sanders' statement. No, he wasn't apologizing for the whole room-rent thing. He was apologizing for the fact that someone in his office -- apparently unbeknownst to him -- sought to bypass the White House to secure large pay raises for two members of his staff.

When asked why he gave the staffers raises, Pruitt told Fox News' Ed Henry on Wednesday, "I did not."

"My staff did, and I found out about that yesterday and I changed it," he continued.

Riiiiight.

So, here's the thing. We know Trump likes how Pruitt has run the EPA since being chosen as its administrator. He's drastically scaled back environmental regulations and was a major champion of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

"The President thinks he is doing a good job, particularly on the deregulation front," Sanders acknowledged on Wednesday.

"But again, we take this seriously and we are looking into it," Sanders said when asked if Trump had faith in Pruitt.

Running counter to Trump's approval for what Pruitt has done at the EPA is the fact the environmental chief has created an absolute avalanche of negative headlines for Trump's administration. Before the rent fiasco and the attempted pay raises, there were the headlines about the tens of thousands of dollars Pruitt spent flying on government planes and in first class, due, he argued, to security threats from people who were unhappy with the changes he had implemented at EPA.

There's nothing Trump hates more than negative press that he himself doesn't cause. And Pruitt's answer on the attempted raises -- I was clueless about my staff trying to secure $80,000 in raises for themselves! -- isn't exactly a great defense.

Yes, Trump apparently called Pruitt earlier this week to tell him that the White House was behind him. But that was before the latest pay raise debacle.

The Trump statement on Tuesday, coupled with Sanders' thoughts Wednesday, sends a very clear signal that the boss isn't happy with Pruitt. And when Donald Trump isn't happy with people, he fires them. Or more accurately, given recent history, has chief of staff John Kelly tell them to look out for a tweet from Trump sometime soon.

We know -- because Trump told us a few weeks back -- that the President is still eyeing a few more changes to his Cabinet before he is fully satisfied. It's hard at this point to see how Pruitt isn't the next one to fall.

The only complicating factor? Trump has struggled -- particularly in recent months -- to convince people to take top-level jobs in his administration due to the ever-present chaos on display at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Finding a Pruitt replacement could be tough. Getting that person confirmed through a narrowly divided Senate with the midterm elections approaching might be even harder.

Those issues might delay Pruitt's removal. But at this point, it appears only a delay to the inevitable.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 24190

Reported Deaths: 1036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8181606
Ramsey2863122
Stearns201413
Nobles15125
Anoka136370
Dakota126354
Washington61731
Olmsted60810
Kandiyohi4901
Rice4522
Clay42426
Scott4082
Todd3130
Wright3051
Mower3031
Sherburne2372
Carver2062
Benton1753
Steele1590
Blue Earth1380
Martin1295
St. Louis11814
Freeborn1150
Pine890
Nicollet8610
Unassigned8610
Winona7915
Carlton730
Watonwan710
Cottonwood700
Crow Wing682
Goodhue663
Otter Tail640
Chisago611
Polk612
Itasca5410
Dodge520
Chippewa491
Lyon490
Morrison450
Meeker450
Le Sueur441
Douglas410
Becker390
Jackson390
Murray390
McLeod340
Isanti320
Waseca260
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Faribault180
Swift180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Pennington170
Sibley160
Brown152
Beltrami140
Cass132
Norman130
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Marshall100
Pope90
Wadena90
Aitkin80
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Mahnomen61
Lincoln50
Renville50
Big Stone40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Redwood40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
Traverse30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Houston20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19217

Reported Deaths: 531
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4160125
Woodbury274034
Black Hawk173944
Linn94976
Dallas89220
Marshall89216
Buena Vista7350
Johnson6149
Wapello5589
Muscatine55641
Crawford5142
Tama40227
Scott35810
Dubuque34518
Louisa34311
Jasper26116
Pottawattamie2578
Sioux2190
Washington1888
Wright1670
Plymouth1292
Warren1260
Allamakee1204
Story1091
Mahaska9310
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines621
Clinton611
Boone610
Taylor540
Clarke530
Guthrie503
Cedar461
Benton411
Webster391
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Hamilton350
Clayton343
Iowa330
Buchanan330
Osceola330
Marion320
Cerro Gordo281
Cherokee280
Madison282
Fayette270
Lee250
Winneshiek240
Monona240
Jefferson230
Harrison220
Davis210
Lyon210
Dickinson200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Sac180
Humboldt170
Lucas170
Hardin160
Hancock160
Delaware150
Keokuk150
Clay150
Appanoose153
Butler151
Emmet140
Ida140
Page130
Greene130
Franklin130
Cass120
Howard120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Winnebago110
Pocahontas110
Chickasaw100
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Adair90
Kossuth90
Union70
Adams70
Montgomery70
Palo Alto60
Unassigned60
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Ringgold40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 43°
Mason City
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 47°
Albert Lea
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 46°
Austin
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 48°
Charles City
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 46°
Sunnier skies for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Rochester People's Rally

Image

Religious leaders call for justice for George Floyd

Image

Rochester downtown under curfew Saturday night

Image

Sean Weather 5/30

Image

Governor Walz GivesUpdate

Image

Gov. Walz Addresses Minnesotans in Overnight Press Conference

Image

Riots, Fires continue in Minneapolis

Image

Protesters in Downtown Rochester

Image

Mower County Fair will go on as planned

Image

Minneapolis Gas Stations Shut Down

Community Events