EPA's Pruitt says pay raises for aides 'should not have happened'

The idea was quickly dumped last year after the price tag of $100,000 a month from plane leasing company Nex Jet was considered prohibitively expensive

Dem Sen Asks EPA Inspector General To Probe Pruitt's Lobbyist Townhouse Deal

Sanders did say the President thinks Pruitt is "doing a good job". The unconventional lease terms permitted Pruitt to pay $50 only on days his bedroom in the unit was actually occupied - with a total of $6,100 in payments over a roughly six-month period a year ago. "My staff did. I found out about that yesterday and I changed it". When Henry asked if somebody would be fired over it, Pruitt replied: "There will be some accountability on that".

"It should not have happened", he said.

Pruitt is also facing unflattering headlines about his use of private jets and his living arrangements.

Pruitt rented a room in a condo from Vicki and Steven Hart, lobbyists whose firm has lobbied the EPA on behalf of an Oklahoma Energy company, for around $50 a night, only paying when he stayed there.

The EPA chief has defended his leadership.

When Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced plans to walk back regulations on emission standards, some declared a win for the auto industry. He also noted that with falling gasoline prices, people are buying fewer hybrids and more SUVs - and that regulations should help US companies like Chrysler and GM meet that demand.

Pruitt said he didn't know who authorized the pay raise when pressed by Fox News' correspondent Ed Henry over whether he would hold accountable the person who authorized the raise. CNN has reported that senior White House aides are frustrated with the administrator as a result of the controversy, but according to an administration official, President Donald Trump called Pruitt on Monday evening to tell him to "keep fighting".

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