If Scott Pruitt has lost Fox News, how much longer could he last in the Trump administration?
On Wednesday morning, Laura Ingraham—one of the network’s Trump-aligned primetime stars—declared in a tweet that Pruitt’s “bad judgment” is “hurting” President Trump and that he’s “gotta go.”
Ingraham was reacting specifically to a new Washington Post report that says Pruitt used his position as EPA director to try to get his wife a job at a conservative political group.
But it is likely the Fox host’s concern stems from the pile-up of scandals that have surrounded Pruitt for months, including numerous instances of excessive spending on bizarre items like a soundproof phone booth for his office and first-class flights to avoid having to face critical members of the public.
Just last week, The Daily Beast reported that Pruitt regularly sends staffers out to fetch his favorite protein bars, Greek yogurt, and other snacks while they are supposed to be working on environmental policy. One Pruitt aide recently resigned after it was exposed she had helped Pruitt try to purchase a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife and, for some reason, procure a used mattress from the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The tweet from Ingraham is especially significant given just how little attention Fox News has paid to Pruitt’s scandals over the past few months. For instance, last week, as news of Pruitt’s latest round of scandals hit a fever pitch, he got just a handful of mentions on Fox’s daytime news programs—and did not come up once during its primetime hours.
The only time Pruitt came up on Trump’s favorite show, Fox & Friends, last week was after the president defended him to reporters before heading off to the G7 in Canada. “Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA,” Trump said from the lawn of the White House. “I mean, we’re setting records. Outside, he’s being attacked very viciously by the press. I’m not saying that he’s blameless, but we’ll see what happens.”
Before Ingraham turned on Pruitt for making Trump look bad, she was generally supportive of his controversial stance as a denier of anthropogenic climate change. In December 2016, when Pruitt was first nominated, Ingraham laughed as she said on Fox News that his selection was going to “drive the left absolutely crazy.” She seemed to welcome Pruitt as a counter to the “church of global warming” that has “completely subsumed the idea that business still has to exist.”
Ironically, Ingraham’s sudden concerns about Pruitt echo a point made by The Daily Show host Trevor Noah a week ago.
“That might be the reason that he gets fired, Trump just might be embarrassed,” he said then. “Trump doesn’t really care about corruption, but he cares about looking bad.”