Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt answers reporters' questions during a briefing at the White House June 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt answers reporters' questions during a briefing at the White House June 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19:  U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana.  Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19: U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana. Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry.   (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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Pete Marovich and MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
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EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19:  U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana.  Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19: U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana. Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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In this May 16, 2018, photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pruitt claimed credit for pollution cleanups done mostly by the Obama administration while flubbing facts about his 2017 condo deal and blaming underlings for his ethical woes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP
In this May 16, 2018, photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pruitt claimed credit for pollution cleanups done mostly by the Obama administration while flubbing facts about his 2017 condo deal and blaming underlings for his ethical woes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16:  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Subcommittee is hearing testimony on the proposed budget estimates for FY2019 for the Environmental Protection Agency.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Subcommittee is hearing testimony on the proposed budget estimates for FY2019 for the Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Pete Marovich/Getty Images/FILE
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Appropriations Committee during a hearing on the 2019 Fiscal Year EPA budget at the Capitol on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Alex Edelman/Getty Images
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Appropriations Committee during a hearing on the 2019 Fiscal Year EPA budget at the Capitol on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry.   (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leaves after he spoke at an event November 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt addressed The Federalist Society's 2017 National Lawyers Convention at the Mayflower Hotel.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leaves after he spoke at an event November 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt addressed The Federalist Society's 2017 National Lawyers Convention at the Mayflower Hotel. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Republicans wants answers from EPA chief
(CNN) —  

Senior White House aides are exasperated with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, the already embattled Cabinet secretary who now finds himself at the center of an expanding controversy over his decision to rent a room in Washington, DC, from the family of an energy lobbyist.

The White House has yet to officially comment on Pruitt’s standing, but a government official tells CNN that the lack of responsiveness shows they are not ready to step in and defend Pruitt, who they believe has created a series of headaches for an administration looking to move past controversies involving Cabinet secretaries.

A White House official said the source of the frustration stems from the fact that White House officials began learning about this issue from media reports, not Pruitt himself, an issue that officials have complained about in the past over controversies involving Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and recently-fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

Pruitt rented a room in a condo from Vicki and Steven Hart, lobbyists whose firm has lobbied the EPA on behalf of an Oklahoma Energy company, ABC News and Bloomberg reported. According to Bloomberg, Pruitt leased a room for around $50 a night, only paying when he stayed there. In total, Pruitt paid $6,100 for the room over six months, a rate significantly lower than market value.