The fusillade hasn’t stopped, but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is holding on — with a seeming Twitter boost from President Donald Trump himself.
Meanwhile, the agency he runs is wracked with turmoil after a week of near constant negative coverage and scrutiny.
Inside the Environmental Protection Agency, there’s talk of an internal “civil war,” POLITICO’s Emily Holden reports, with employees talking about “backstabbing”and anxious about a series of leaks.
“The internal EPA drama is infecting even Pruitt’s inner circle, which has been split for months between D.C.-based Republicans and some loyalists who followed him from his former post as Oklahoma attorney general — a few of whom, according to two former staffers, have been all too eager to sign off on the luxe travel and security spending that has spurred growing calls for President Donald Trump to fire their boss.”
Trump’s boost didn’t stop the negative coverage today. Today included the revelation, courtesy of POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson, that Pruitt was not just paying a bargain rate for his condo — he sort of refused to leave.
“Pruitt was only supposed to be living in the Capitol Hill condominium that has become a focal point of his latest ethics controversy for six weeks last year while he got settled in Washington – but the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator didn’t leave when his lease ended … The couple, Vicki and Steve Hart, became so frustrated by their lingering tenant that they eventually pushed him out and changed their locks.”
Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:
MNUCH-LEAR WARFARE?: Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin warned of a potential “trade war” with China during an interview with CNBC.
(KUD)LOW INFORMATION: Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow learned about President Trump’s latest tariff move just last night — just before the media did.
MISSED CORRESPONDENTS: President Trump has decided, after all, not to attend the White House Correspondents Association dinner for the second year in a row. In a signal of a modest thaw, he’ll send Sarah Huckabee Sanders to represent him at the head table.
CRIMSON TRIED: The Trump administration is pushing a federal judge to open its admissions records as part of a lawsuit accusing the school of an anti-Asian bias in admissions.
MCMASTER OF CEREMONY: The White House held a feel-good send off for national security adviser H.R. McMaster today, with Vice President Mike Pence joining a “clap out” as he left the White House compound this afternoon.
NO APOLOGY: Newly minted Senate candidate Mitt Romney says he won’t “look backward” at scathing critiques of President Trump and is only looking forward.
NOTHING TO SEY HERE?: ABC reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Erik Prince’s meeting with a Russian with close ties to Putin on Seychelles was not a chance encounter, as Prince has portrayed it.
There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. It’s Friday, Friday gotta get down on Friday.