By the time Scott Pruitt resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday afternoon, he was under more than a dozen federal investigations and beset by an unusually large number of scandals ranging from the petty to the serious and bizarre. The one completed investigation, into Pruitt's purchase of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth, found he had violated federal laws, and a new scandal was looming concerning the potentially illegal retroactive deletion of entries in his official calendar.
President Trump was reportedly getting exasperated with the unending bad headlines, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly "was seemingly obsessed with getting Pruitt ousted," The Washington Post says, and Pruitt had burned his bridges with allies inside the EPA and White House. Trump-friendly Fox News host Laura Ingraham, joining other conservative voices, tweeted Tuesday that "Pruitt is the swamp. Drain it." But Pruitt still had his defenders, including billionaire oil magnate Harold Hamm and Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel:
Lesson to other Trump officials from Pruitt resignation: Give the left/media/organized greens any molehill and they will turn it into K2. Most of the accusations were overwrought, but the barrage was overwhelming. Let's hope an equally reformist successor denies them a repeat.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) July 5, 2018
Prominent Republican donor Doug Deason said he was "extremely disappointed" in Trump, calling ousting Pruitt "one of the only big blunders of his administration." Trump "should have protected him better," Deason told The Washington Post. He told Politico he was specifically "so disappointed in the president's failure to support Scott against the angry attacks from the loony left," arguing that "nothing he did amounted to anything big. ... Scott Pruitt is a sacrificial lamb and I have no idea why." Dan Eberhart, another donor to Trump and the GOP from the energy industry, conceded that Pruitt made some questionable personal choices but called Pruitt "just the latest victim" of Trump's critics. Peter Weber