This will be reasonably short.
If only Scott Pruitt had listened to Kristen Mink on Monday and taken her advice in the restaurant to resign "before scandals push you out." He could have avoided being fired. (Yes, yes, I know he sent in a letter of resignation. But as stories have reported, he was fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly. Once again, Trump couldn't do it himself.)
No, Trump does not get any bonus points for finally firing Pruitt until after 13 investigations for abuses in his office. Worse, Trump actually praised Pruitt while firing him. More appropriate would have been to announced that criminal charges would be filed soon. As they may be. (Just today, two congressman have asked the Inspector General to look into whether Pruitt committed federal crimes in falsifying records.)
No one should be confused in thinking that Scott Pruitt was fired for his ethics violations and scandals, If that had been the case, he would have been fired after the first scandal. Or at least the sixth. It's near-impossible to think that 13 ethics violations is actually their baseline.
I think that Pruitt was fired for two reasons: the scandals were finally getting far too much attention and bad press and staff whistleblowers. And also with a Supreme Court nomination coming next week, the White House doesn't want "Why haven't you fired Scott Pruitt already???!!" looming over the Senate debate.
It's all very bizarre that Trump kept Pruitt around so long. The argument given has long been that it's because Trump liked the job Pruitt did destroying the EPA -- but his replacement will do the same thing. The EPA Administrator is just doing what Trump wants done.
Speaking of that replacement, the new acting administrator is a former coal industry lobbyist. So, he may even be worse than Pruitt -- just without the weekly ethics violations. Well...presumably.
I don't have it in me to post Pruitt's sanctimonious, creepy resignation letter, in which he blames his problems on the unprecedented attacks on him, rather than his unprecedented scandals that have brought on 13 investigations and which are what prompted all the attacks. Instead, though, I have decided that it's actually okay for the door to hit him on the way out. Nothing to cause harm, mind you, but just let him know that it's closed shut.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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