02:14 - Source: CNN
Troubles mount for Trump's EPA chief
Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump is not OK with the deal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt received to rent a room in Washington from the family of an energy lobbyist, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday.

Pruitt has recently found himself in a swirl of negative stories about his conduct at the EPA, most notably the rental agreement he signed with two lobbyists for $50-a-night near the Capitol.

The stories have frustrated the White House, but Trump called Pruitt earlier this week and told him to “keep your head up” and “keep fighting.

Asked if Trump is OK with the deal, which allowed Pruitt to pay under-market rent costs, Sanders said: “The President is not. We are reviewing the situation. When we have had the chance to have done a deeper dive on that we will let you know the outcomes of that. We are currently revising that at that White House.”

Despite his difficulties, Pruitt’s hold on his job may be stronger than past Cabinet secretaries who have found themselves ousted from the Trump administration after a string of negative stories because he is seen as someone who is carrying out the President’s vision on environmental policy.

Sanders did say the President thinks Pruitt is “doing a good job.”

“The President thinks he is doing a good job, particularly on the deregulation front. But again, we take this seriously and we are looking into it,” Sanders said when asked if Trump had faith in Pruitt.

Trump himself has offered only vague backing when questioned about Pruitt’s standing during a meeting with Nordic leaders at the White House.

“I hope he’s going to be great,” Trump said Tuesday.

Officials at the EPA have looked to protect their boss from the string of negative stories by noting – in public – what Pruitt has done to carry out the Trump vision.

“From advocating to leave the Paris Accord, working to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan and WOTUS, and cleaning up toxic Superfund sites that have been languishing for decades, Administrator Pruitt is focused on advancing President Trump’s agenda of regulatory certainty and environmental stewardship,” Jahan Wilcox, a Pruitt spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.