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Politics Chief of Staff Advised a Resistant Trump to Fire E.P.A. Chief

22:25  06 april  2018
22:25  06 april  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

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John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff , this week in Washington. White House officials said that the president continues to believe that Mr. Pruitt has been effective in his role.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON—White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told President Donald Trump last week that he is convinced Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt needs to step down after a series of negative reports about his spending habits and management style, a White House official said Friday.

John F. Kelly standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: President Trump’s chief of staff urged him last week to fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. leader mired in ethics questions. Mr. Trump has resisted. © Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump’s chief of staff urged him last week to fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. leader mired in ethics questions. Mr. Trump has resisted.

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, told President Trump last week that Scott Pruitt, his embattled administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, needed to go, according to two officials briefed about the conversation, following damaging allegations of ethical infractions and spending irregularities by the E.P.A. chief.

But Mr. Trump, who is personally fond of Mr. Pruitt and sees him as a crucial ally in his effort to roll back environmental protections, has resisted firing him, disregarding warnings that the drumbeat of negative headlines has grown unsustainable, and that more embarrassing revelations could surface.

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Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt upgraded his ride to a hulking Chevy Suburban equipped with bullet-proof seat-covers, in the latest example of his He also has been under fire for the order of a bulletproof desk, his 20-member security detail, first class travel, and million in security costs.

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White House officials said on Friday that Mr. Trump continues to believe that Mr. Pruitt has been effective in his role, and stressed that it was up to him alone to decide his fate.

“No one other than the president has the authority to hire and fire,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders the White House press secretary, told reporters. “The president feels that the administrator has done a good job at E.P.A.”

She said the White House, which has been conducting an internal investigation into Mr. Pruitt’s conduct, was “continuing to review any of the concerns that we have.”

Earlier, in a brief interview, Ms. Sanders said that Mr. Pruitt’s success in achieving items on the president’s agenda — including rolling back a large number of environmental regulations — may weigh heavily as a counterbalance to allegations that he misused taxpayer dollars.

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When Mr. Trump ’s chief of staff learned about the news release, he demanded the debates be delayed until cabinet secretaries and top White House “The chief doesn’t want it,” Mr. Dearborn said, referring to the White House chief of staff , according to one person who attended. E . P . A . officials

“He likes the work product,” she said of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Pruitt has been dogged by a series of scandals in recent weeks, including revelations that he rented a condominium co-owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 per night; that he spent more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded first-class travel, which the E.P.A. has argued was necessary because of security concerns; and that the agency sidelined or demoted at least five high-ranking agency employees who had raised questions about his spending.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Mr. Kelly’s unheeded advice to Mr. Trump, which marked the escalation of a quiet but intense turn in the West Wing against Mr. Pruitt. Privately, many senior White House aides have become infuriated with the E.P.A. chief and exasperated with his ethical lapses, believing that it is only a matter of time before his special standing with the president wears off.

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The title chief of staff (or head of staff ) identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a principal staff officer (PSO)

The Chief of the Air Staff (Urdu: سربراہ پاک فضائيہ‎) (reporting name: CAS), is a military appointment and a statutory office held by an Air Chief Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force, who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and final confirmation by the President of Pakistan.

That does not seem to have happened yet.

“I think he’s done a fantastic job at E.P.A.,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Thursday as he returned to Washington from an event in West Virginia. “I think he’ll be fine.”

On Friday, Mr. Trump pushed back against news reports that he had considered replacing Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, with Mr. Pruitt, saying in a tweet that his E.P.A. chief “is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege.”

The president, who dislikes direct personal confrontations, has been known to change his mind and tone rapidly when it comes to dismissing underlings. But his aides also point out that Mr. Trump relishes doing things his own way and digging in against what he considers to be conventional thinking, even when it may mean enduring political fallout.

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