Thursday, June 7, 2018


THE WEEK reports
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has reportedly walled himself off from everyone at the agency except a core group of five aides, and two members of that inner circle, executive scheduler Millan Hupp and senior counselor Sarah Greenwalt, tendered their resignations on Wednesday...
Hupp... drafting her resignation... after... doing personal errands for Pruitt — searching for his housing, trying to obtain a used mattress from Trump International Hotel, and seeing about getting a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife

On the upside, Axios says its a very thick wall:

Inside Scott Pruitt's "miserable" bunker

President Trump is unhappy about a report in The Atlantic which says a member of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's press team has been shopping negative stories about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to multiple outlets. A source who spoke to Trump told me the president raised the issue in conversation and said, "That's not good." Trump has been souring on Pruitt as the negative press about him piles up.

Why this matters: Pruitt — who is under siege from federal investigators, the White House, Capitol Hill, and the media — survives because the one guy who matters in the White House won't fire him. Trump's draining supply of goodwill towards Pruitt is the EPA administrator's lifeline. Most everyone else in the building wants him gone.
  • Over the last few months, Pruitt has walled himself off from all but five EPA political appointees: ​Millan Hupp, Sarah Greenwalt, Hayley Ford, Lincoln Ferguson, and Wilcox. Of those five, only Wilcox is over 30. Hupp, Greenwalt and Ferguson came with Pruitt from Oklahoma. Wilcox is the only press aide Pruitt appears to trust.
  • "All of us have been frozen out over time," one EPA political appointee told me. "It's absolutely unreal working here. Everyone's miserable. Nobody talks. It's a dry wall prison."...
Now, senior political appointees tell me they have no idea where and how Pruitt spends his time. They scan Twitter and the news to try to keep tabs on him.
  • Pruitt used to share his travel schedule with political appointees. Then, over the winter, he sent out a redacted schedule simply saying "travel." After that, he stopped sharing it altogether. Since his April 26 congressional testimony, senior staff outside his inner circle have had virtually no idea of his whereabouts.
  • The leadership in Pruitt's congressional affairs shop have complained to associates that they can't do their jobs. They've griped about complaints from members of Congress when the members find out after the fact that Pruitt has visited their state or congressional district. The embarrassing reality for Pruitt's legislative affairs team is they had no idea either. 
  • Wilcox pushed back on that complaint, noting that Pruitt has appeared with members in their districts at least twice in the last few months.
  • Two sources told me that Pruitt's hardly been in the office this past week. He's been planning to set up an external legal defense fund — a development first reported by the New York Times.
The bottom line: Pruitt has grown paranoid and isolated, and he only trusts a small handful of people at the agency. Senior White House staff darkly joke among themselves every time a fresh bad story comes out about Pruitt. Numerous senior EPA staff have already resigned or plan to quit.