US President Donald Trump on Friday announced the departure of his environment chief, Scott Pruitt, who faced ever-growing ethics scandals over his spending and conduct in office.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” tweeted the president, ending months of speculation about the future of the man he had tasked with dismantling former president Barack Obama’s green legacy.
“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” added Trump.
Trump told journalists aboard Air Force One that there was “no final straw" that led to Pruitt's departure, and that the move —which he said had been in the works for “a couple of days” — was “very much up to him”. “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,” said Trump.
Trump tweeted that Pruitt's deputy, the former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, would take over Monday as acting head of the agency.