Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is leaving the agency, President Trump tweeted Thursday.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump said in a tweet. “Within the agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”
Andrew Wheeler, Deputy EPA Administrator and former coal lobbyist, will replace Pruitt on Monday, Trump said.
“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda,” Trump tweeted. “We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”
Pruitt’s exodus, perhaps long overdue, culminates a rollercoaster ride of political liability for the Trump administration, one that has perplexed even the President’s strongest allies. If one scandal taints a political tenure, Pruitt’s more than one dozen scandals, several involving federal investigators, has left his legacy in tatters. Because of his taxpayer-funded excursions, hidden meetings with Vatican officials later convicted of sexual crimes, and because he leveraged his position to the advantage of his family—including the chance to, of all things, acquire a Chick-fil-A for his wife—Pruitt will continue to be under the lens of a multitude of federal investigations and political scrutiny.
The worst transgressions, though, may consist in the speeds at which he worked to dismantle the agency his was entrusted with managing, in accordance with its mission to protect the environment in which Americans live. For now, he walks away leaving a trail of blood behind him, with a rotten, FBI probe-laden stench quick to follow.