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EPA chief Pruitt ‘doing great job but is totally under siege’

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In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, Pruitt justified the condo arrangement, saying it was “like an Airbnb situation” and that he did not do anything improper. He also said he was unaware of the salary increases and planned to review the decision internally.

Despite the multitude of reports, Trump, on Thursday afternoon, defended Pruitt as “a good man” who has “done a terrific job” — though others within Trump’s administration are said to have advocated for Pruitt’s ouster.

“I think he’s a fantastic person,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday. “You know, I just left coal and energy country. They love Scott Pruitt. They feel very strongly about Scott Pruitt. And they love Scott Pruitt.”

The Wall Street Journal, citing a White House official, reported Friday that Chief of Staff John Kelly is among the White House aides who are convinced that Pruitt should leave the administration.

However, that official told The Wall Street Journal, Trump is not ready to remove him given Pruitt’s success in pushing the president’s deregulatory agenda.

As the head of the EPA, Pruitt is Trump’s point man for the administration’s plan to roll back environmental regulations — many of which were put in place by the Obama administration and opposed by industry lobbyists — while boosting the continued burning of fossil fuels, which scientists have concluded is the primary cause of climate change.

On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called on Pruitt to resign, joining a handful of Democratic senators who have also urged him to step down.

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure has been a part of the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetence. Pruitt must resign,” Pelosi said in a statement, adding that he “has displayed a staggering ethical blindness.”

At least three House Republicans — Reps. Elise Stefanik, of New York, and Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both of Florida — have also called on Pruitt to resign.

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Verhofstadt attacked over 'farce of EU’s democratic values’ after rant against Orban

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GUY VERHOFSTADT’S attempt to interfere in Hungarian politics has been torn apart by observers who said the eurocrat was “illustrating the farce of so-called EU’s democratic values” with his rant.

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Oh dear, Nicola! Sturgeon's independence and EU dreams dismantled ‘Greece without the sun’

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NICOLA STURGEON’s separatist dream is nothing but a “tartan fantasy” which will cost Scotland £26billion a year and leave it in debt to the tune of £300billion, an economist has warned.

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Christine Wormuth set to lead Army as first female secretary

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BERLIN — President Joe Biden plans to nominate Christine Wormuth, a former senior Pentagon official, to be the first woman to lead the Army, the White House said Monday.

If confirmed by the Senate as Army secretary, Wormuth would be one of the more powerful officials in a defense establishment long dominated by men. She would work with the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. James McConville, who does not command soldiers but is responsible, along with the Army secretary, for training and equipping them.

Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as Air Force or Navy secretary. Many other Pentagon positions that require Senate confirmation also have yet to be filled. The most senior Defense Department nominee still awaiting Senate confirmation is Colin Kahl, picked to be under secretary of defense for policy. His nomination emerged from committee on a 13-13 vote and it’s unclear when the full Senate will act.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was traveling abroad when Wormuth’s nomination was announced, praised her track record.

“Christine is a true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation’s security,” he said in a prepared statement. He called her deeply experienced.

“I have no doubt that if confirmed she will lead our soldiers and represent their families with honor and integrity as the secretary of the Army,” Austin said.

Wormuth led Biden’s Pentagon transition team during the tumultuous period between the November election and Inauguration Day. She currently is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corp., a federally funded think tank.

During the administration of former President Barack Obama, she served as the under secretary of defense for policy. She also served as the senior director for defense policy on Obama’s National Security Council and held other Defense Department positions.

Wormuth’s nomination would continue a Biden trend of choosing women and people of color for top Defense Department jobs. Austin is the first Black secretary of defense, and Kathleen Hicks is the first woman to hold the job of deputy defense secretary.

The White House also announced the nominations of Gil Cisneros to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Susanna Blume as director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, a key office that provides independent analysis and evaluation of major defense programs and activities. She currently is the interim director of that office and has previously held senior staff positions in the Pentagon.

Cisneros is a former member of Congress and a Navy veteran.

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