- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2018

President Trump said that embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, resigned Thursday because he “didn’t want to be a distraction.”

“He came to me and he said ‘I have such great confidence in the administration — I don’t want to be a distraction’,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction.”

There are at least 13 federal inquiries into Mr. Pruitt’s conduct at the EPA, including exorbitant spending and requiring aides to do personal chores for him. In his resignation letter, he blamed the media for hounding him unfairly.

Asked if he forced out Mr. Pruitt, the president said, “It was very much up to him.” He said the decision had been in the works for a couple of days.

He praised Mr. Pruitt’s performance.

“We’ve gotten rid of record breaking regulations,” the president told reporters aboard Air Fornce One.

He acknowledged “obviously the controversies with Scott, but within the agency we were extremely happy.”

“He’ll go on to great things and he’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope,” Mr. Trump said. “But he felt that he did not want to be a distraction for an administration that he has a lot of faith in.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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