Pruitt torn to pieces over his resignation from the EPA
By Janon Fisher
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS|
Jul 06, 2018 | 11:00 PM
He never thought the climate would change on him.
Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is an emotional wreck after being jettisoned by President Trump over a series of bizarre ethics scandals, according to a report.
Despite the assertions of unwavering devotion to the President, Bloomberg News reported that Trump had grown weary of the negative press surrounding the cabinet member.
The final straw was an investigation into allegations Pruitt’s public schedule was doctored to keep some of his meetings secret, a possible criminal violation of the Federal Records Act, the report said. More allegations were expected by the White House, according to the news service.
The President — who gained fame as a reality TV show host with his catchphrase of “You’re fired!” — had his White House chief of staff do the dirty work. John Kelly delivered the news to Pruitt that he had to go — a message that hit Pruitt hard, according to two anonymous Bloomberg sources.
Publicly, Pruitt and the White House blamed his departure on personal attacks on him and his family as the reason he was leaving.
“It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring,” Pruitt wrote in his resignation letter. “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”
Trump, who announced the departure at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday on Twitter, praised the climate change denier for his work at the agency.
“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job,” the President tweeted. “and I will always be thankful to him for this.”
“It was very much up to him,” Trump told reporters later on Air Force One. “We’ve been talking about it for a little while.”
On Thursday, before he quit, the EPA admitted that an unnamed staffer was directed to change Pruitt’s schedule regarding meetings he had in Italy last spring, during which he met with a cardinal under investigation for sexual assault, according to The New York Times.
The paper also reported that recorded meetings with lobbyists were changed to indicate they were staff meetings. Other meetings were completely erased.
An August 2017 sitdown with Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, a prominent Republican donor, did not appear in the EPA bigwig’s schedule anywhere, according to the Times.
At least one staffer, Madeline Morris, a senior scheduler who raised alarms about the edits, was fired, the paper reported.
The President’s advisers had been urging him to cut loose the toxic environmental chief after he was accused of a series of strange ethical lapses.
Trump had also been irked by news that Pruitt had drafted an EPA staffer to help him buy a used mattress from Trump International Hotel, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
The former Oklahoma attorney general had raised eyebrows for the $3.5 million price tag for his round-the-clock security, first-class travel and bulletproof furniture in his government office.
The scandal-scarred administrator also asked staffers to run personal errands for him, like buying Rose Bowl tickets and inquiring about a position running a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife.
Pruitt also leased a tony $50-a-night condo tied to oil and gas lobbyist Steven Hart.