President Trump has had a tumultuous first year in office with his personnel. His staffers, both within the White House and in his Cabinet, have been fired or otherwise replaced at a record rate. Seminal figures from the beginning of his term, including chief advisor Steve Bannon, national security advisor Mike Flynn, and chief of staff Reince Priebus, have been disgraced in short order.
Meanwhile, members of his cabinet, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have been the subject of almost endless rumors as well. Now, those rumors are only intensifying.
Apparently Scott Pruitt, the current administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is angling for Sessions’ job as Attorney General. Sessions has had a rough history with President Trump: he has been chided by Trump for recusing himself from all Russia-related matters in the Justice Department, and because his Senate seat in Alabama was recently replaced by a Democrat in Doug Jones.
His seat was one cherished and long-held by Republicans, but lost by the controversial conservative candidate Roy Moore. Now, several members of government have privately called on Sessions to step down, though it is unclear if he will voluntary.
Pruitt has been speaking out in government circles about replacing Sessions. “Pruitt is very interested,” said one source. “He has expressed that on a number of occasions.”
Publicly, however, he is denying that he is angling for a more powerful cabinet position. One EPA spokesperson said, “No, this is not true. 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.” Another source said Pruitt “feels he’s doing nation-changing work.”
If Pruitt is nominated for Sessions’ cabinet post, he should expect backlash from Democrats because he has a history of disregarding environmental regulations.