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Embattled EPA head Pruitt faces more trouble

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White House spokespeople have declined to offer full support for Pruitt in recent days, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said earlier Thursday that Pruitt’s conduct was under review.

“There is a process in place to review some of these actions,” Gidley told Fox News, adding that he “can’t speak to the future of Scott Pruitt.”

A day earlier, White House Press SecretarySarah Huckabee Sanders, when asked if the president was OK with Pruitt’s actions, replied: “The president’s not.”

Meanwhile, a new alleged scandal involving Pruitt emerged Thursday afternoon, when CBS News reported that the EPA chief, just weeks after he was confirmed to the post, wanted to use his vehicle’s sirens and lights to get through Washington, D.C., traffic.

When his lead security agent refused the request, explaining that he couldn’t use them unless there was an emergency, the EPA reassigned him, CBS reported.

The New York Times also reported Thursday that several EPA officials, some of them senior, had been sidelined after questioning Pruitt.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said of the report: “This is a group of disgruntled employees who have either been dismissed or reassigned.”

For his part, Pruitt also is denying he knew about big raises given to two of his closest aides and insisting he did nothing wrong in renting the low-priced condo tied to an energy lobbyist.

Pruitt spoke this week in a series of interviews with Fox News and other conservative media outlets in an attempt to shore up his eroding position in an administration that has seen other top officials depart after ethical missteps.

Also, EPA senior counsel and associate administrator Samantha Dravis has resigned, it was reported by the Washington Post on Thursday and confirmed by NBC News.

As the head of the EPA, Pruitt has been Trump’s point man for the administration’s push to make the agency more industry-friendly and roll back environmental regulations seen by the White House as overreaching, many of which were put in place by the Obama administration.

In Washington, Pruitt has moved to scrap, gut or replace numerous environmental regulations opposed by industry while boosting the continued burning of fossil fuels, which scientists have concluded is the primary cause of climate change.

He has come under fire for his use of taxpayer-funded travel, mostly in first-class, despite federal regulations requiring federal officials to fly in coach. Pruitt has defended his travel arrangements, saying he needed to sit in first-class seats due to security concerns.

In one instance last year, Pruitt and members of his staff spent roughly $40,000 in taxpayer funds to fly to Morocco to help encourage the country import liquefied natural gas from the United States.

In the Fox interview, Pruitt claimed the travel controversy is a conspiracy manufactured by his critics on the left, and he also defended himself over the raises to his two close aides, saying the pay hikes were approved by staff, he was unaware of the decision and planned to review it.

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'Not giving up sovereignty!' UK lays down gauntlet to EU ahead of Gibraltar Brexit talks

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SOVEREIGNTY of Gibraltar is not up for negotiation in Brexit trade talks with the EU, ministers have vowed.

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SNP crisis as Sturgeon's own minister reported over breach of code: 'Total contempt'

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AN SNP minister has been reported over breaching the Scottish Government’s ministerial code after making a parliamentary statement on the ongoing ambulance crisis.

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France ‘throws toys out of pram’ as fears grow over Channel fishing punishment

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FRANCE could use the ongoing AUKUS security pact crisis as a form of revenge in the Jersey fishing dispute, a minister has claimed.

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