Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has told friends and associates that he’s interested in becoming attorney general, according to three people familiar with the internal discussions.
With rumors swirling that Jeff Sessions could depart the administration and two members of the House Freedom Caucus calling on the former Alabama senator to resign, Pruitt is quietly positioning himself as a possible candidate for the job.
“Pruitt is very interested,” a person close to him said. “He has expressed that on a number of occasions.”
It’s unclear whether Pruitt would be on the shortlist for the position, but people close to the president said Trump has grown to like him. Pruitt has emerged as the face of Trump’s deregulatory agenda, taking steps to overturn former President Barack Obama’s climate change regulations. He was also a leading advocate for pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
Pruitt has developed a reputation in Washington as one of the most ambitious members of Trump’s Cabinet, and people close to him have long suspected that he harbors bigger aspirations in politics, perhaps as governor or senator. Two people close to him also said he has toyed with the possibility of running for president someday.
The EPA denied that Pruitt is eyeing the attorney general position.
“No, this is not true,” agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. “From creating regulatory certainty to cleaning up toxic superfund sites, Administrator Pruitt is solely focused on implementing President Trump’s agenda to protect the environment.”