Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said on Sunday that she believes Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“This daily drip of accusations of excessive spending and ethical violations serve to further distract the agency from accomplishing its very important mission,” Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper, adding that she believes Congress should look further into Pruitt’s actions.
“On policy grounds alone, I think Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to head the EPA.”
Tapper questioned whether or not she believes Pruitt should resign or be fired.
“That is a position that only the president can take at this point,” Collins responded.
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Pruitt has been heavily criticized over the last few weeks due to excessive spending and possible ethics violations.
In February, it was revealed that the EPA chief spent more than $90,000 on travel costs for himself and aides during the first few weeks of June. Pruitt also ignited controversy when news broke that two of his aides were given significant pay increases, though he claimed to have nothing to do with the raises.
Pruitt has faced calls for his resignation more recently over reports that he rented a condo from the wife of a Washington energy lobbyist for $50 a night.
Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer, called Pruitt’s choice to accept the offer “disgusting” and “flat-out wrong.”
“Fifty dollars a night to get a room in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “You know, we all know, that is a violation of the gift rules, and no ethics lawyer could cover that up.”
President Donald Trump defended Pruitt last week, stating that he “thinks that he’s done a good job, particularly on the deregulation front,” though White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week also refused to state whether the administration had confidence in the EPA leader’s abilities.