ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is pleased with Scott Pruitt’s performance as head of the Environmental Protection Agency but allegations of ethical missteps “have raised some concerns,” a White House spokesman said on Thursday.
The White House is hopeful Pruitt will be able to answer those concerns, spokesman Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Elkhart, Indiana.
Pruitt has been under fire for potential ethics lapses, including flying first class, excessive spending on security, and the rental of a room in a Washington condominium owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist.
“The president is pleased with the job that he’s doing as the administrator. However, the issues that have been raised that I think you guys are all familiar with – they have raised some concerns,” Shah said.
“We’re hopeful and expecting that Administrator Pruitt will be able to answer those,” he said.
The EPA has defended Pruitt’s spending on travel and security, saying it has been crucial to protecting him from public threats and ensuring he can conduct confidential work, and have also pointed out that Pruitt’s lease for the room in Washington, of about $50 a night he was there, was around market rate.