Marc Short: Trump ‘happy’ with Pruitt

Scott Pruitt unapologetically defends EPA tenure amid blistering criticism
Andrew Harnik/AP
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said Sunday that President Donald Trump remains supportive of Scott Pruitt as stories pile up about his actions as EPA chief and his past.

“Scott Pruitt is doing a phenomenal job, and the president is happy with him,” Short said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Short said that Trump has full confidence in Pruitt, and declined to answer a question about what might make Trump turn against the embattled administrator.

“That’s a hypothetical,” Short said. “I don’t know. Right now, Scott Pruitt is doing a great job at EPA, and we’re excited to have him there.”

Short’s vouching for Pruitt came as the EPA administrator continues to weather a growing number of news reports about ethically questionable actions, including such things as the size and cost of his 24-hour security detail, and a meeting he held with a lobbyist while renting a $50-a-night Capitol Hill room from the lobbyist’s wife.

Pruitt is facing scrutiny in Congress over these stories and continues to stoke criticism from environmentalists over his efforts to undo pillars of the Obama administration’s efforts in the area.

A spokesman for the lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, confirmed on Saturday that Hart met with Pruitt during the time last year when Hart’s wife rented him a room in Washington, and a report from The New York Times this weekend outlined Pruitt’s past in Oklahoma, including purchasing a home from a retiring lobbyist in 2003 through a shell company.

In the same interview on Sunday, Short said Trump currently “has no intention” to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or special counsel Robert Mueller.

“As far as I know, the President has no intention of firing these individuals,” Short said.