>> After months of scandal, US Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Scott Pruitt, is resigning. President Trump announcing his departure Thursday on Twitter.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where Pruitt's personal behavior has evidently caught up with him. Reports of lavish spending, over the top security, and close ties to energy industry lobbyists proving to much even for some Republicans.
They've come to view Pruitt as a liability as the scandals have mounted. Despite this, Pruitt was perhaps one of Trump's most effective cabinet officials. During his tenure he managed to roll back dozens of environmental protections and get the United States to drop out of Global Climate treaty.>> As the nation's top environment official Pruitt weakened pollution standards for chemicals, pesticides and farm runoff.
He killed an Obama administration plan to scale back green house gas emissions and tried to weaken tailpipe standards for cars as well. But it was his personal behavior that drew the most scrutiny. As he pushed for steep spending cuts at the EPA, Pruitt spent $43,000 to build a sound proof phone booth in his office.
And racked up more than $100,000 in first class airfare. He rented a bedroom from an energy industry lobbyist for $50 a night, and ordered EPA staffers to help his wife find a high paying job. He kept a secret calendar to hide his meetings with energy industry officials, according to a former staffer.
Despite these controversies, Trump continued to back Pruitt for months. Praising his efforts to weaken environmental protections. Trump telling reporters on Air Force One that Pruitt had told him he did not want to become a distraction. Pruitt saying in his resignation letter that quote, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented, and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.
>> Pruitt may be gone but don't expect the Trump Administration's environmental policies to change. Most Republicans broadly support the deregulatory approach he took while in office. And just look at who Trump has tapped to fill Pruitt's shoes, the current number two at EPA, Andrew Wheeler. He's a former lobbyist for the coal industry.