Donald Trump Backs Scott Pruitt as Attacks Continue

US President Donald Trump (L) listens to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speak after announcing the US will withdraw from the Paris accord in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. 'As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump confirmed to automaker industry leaders on Friday that he still has confidence in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt despite ongoing negative reports about his job performance.

When asked if he still has confidence in Pruitt, Trump replied, “Yes, I do.”

The president’s comments came as the EPA administrator joined him for a meeting with automaker industry leaders to discuss policies favorable to their businesses.

“We’re working on how to build more cars in the United States,” Trump said. “We are going to be talking about environmental control, CAFE standards, and manufacturing millions of new cars within the United States.”

In April, reports surfaced that White House chief of staff John Kelly had advised Trump to fire Pruitt, but the president has resisted on the basis that he is effectively carrying out his agenda.

Pruitt’s departure would be a major victory for dissenting EPA employees and the militant environmental left, as he is a top target.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah acknowledged that questions about Pruitt had raised some concerns among staff but that the president continues to support him.

“The president is pleased with the job that he’s doing as the administrator,” he said to reporters on Air Force One on Thursday. “However, the issues that have been raised that I think you guys are all familiar with – they have raised some concerns.”

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