Updated Jul 5, 2018

Go deeper: The scandals that led to Scott Pruitt's resignation

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of scandals regarding his spending habits and management decisions, which led to a series of federal probes.

The big picture: Despite his questionable behavior, Pruitt continued to have support from the president. But, as Axios' Jonathan Swan reported at the beginning of May, that support was wavering as the negative coverage piled on, and everyone else in the White House wanted Pruitt out.

Pruitt's laundry list of scandals:
  1. He reportedly ordered raises for two aides, despite the White House rejecting his request. He later said he was unaware of the raises.
  2. He spent $3 million of taxpayer funds on an extensive security detail, which was three times bigger than his predecessor's.
  3. Biometric locks were installed on his office doors for $5,700, Politico reports.
  4. He came under fire for renting a bedroom near Capitol Hill from a lobbyist for $50 a night. He told the Washington Examiner: "I'm dumbfounded that that's controversial."
  5. The agency installed a $43,000 private phone booth in his office.
  6. He has spent over $105,000 on first-class flights, per Politico, citing "threats to his safety."
  7. He had a tendency to want to use flashing lights and sirens on his motorcade to cut through D.C. traffic — including at least one trip to a popular French restaurant, Le Diplomate.
  8. A former Comcast lobbyist helped the agency set up a trip to Morocco in December, which cost $100,000, despite original claims that it would cost $40,000.
  9. Pruitt accepted seats at a University of Kentucky basketball game for him and his son from a billionaire coal executive.
  10. His staff spent over $1,500 on fountain pens, CNN reported, and more than $1,600 on journals.
  11. His director of scheduling and advance, Millan Hupp, says Pruitt asked her to perform personal tasks, which included a request for a Trump hotel mattress.
  12. He told his allies in the conservative movement that Hupp lied in her testimony and could not be trusted implying that "she should not be hired at their institutions," reports the Daily Beast.
  13. He tried to use his position to get his wife a job as a Chick-fil-A franchisee, per the Washington Post.
  14. Pruitt requested that his 24/7 security detail help him find "a favorite moisturizing lotion" offered at Ritz-Carlton hotels, and retrieve his dry cleaning without him, the Washington Post reported.
  15. He sent employees during the work day to "pick up his favorite snacks and treats," per the Daily Beast, including particular finger foods, Greek yogurt, and more.
  16. He enlisted the help of a top aide to find his wife a job by reaching out to Republican donors, the Washington Post reported. The Post later reported that the aide was told to find a job which offered a salary topping $200,000.
  17. He put the former treasurer of his political action committee, Elizabeth Beacham White, in charge of the EPA's Office of the Executive Secretariat, which oversees FOIA requests, Politico reported.

Go deeper

New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a coronavirus media update at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

AUCKLAND -- New Zealand has flattened the curve of novel coronavirus cases after two weeks of lockdown and the next phase is to "squash it," Professor Shaun Hendy, who heads a body advising the government on COVID-19, told Axios.

Why it matters: The country imposed 14 days ago some of the toughest restrictions in the world in response to the pandemic, despite confirming only 102 cases and no deaths at the time.

Go deeperArrow30 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 1,431,375 — Total deaths: 82,145 — Total recoveries: 301,543Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 399,886 — Total deaths: 12,910 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.