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Scott Pruitt. Photo: Jason Andrew/Getty Images

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he gave his Chief of Staff, Ryan Jackson, the go-ahead to give controversial raises to two trusted aides at the EPA.

Why it matters: This issue is particularly fraught because the White House had initially denied the raises. To the extent Pruitt admits he defied the White House, it could be more damaging to him than the various spending controversies.

The buzz: Fox News’ John Roberts says Pruitt is confirming that he lied on Fox News when he said he wasn’t aware of the raises. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that three administration officials said Pruitt “endorsed the idea” of the raises.

What was said:

Rep. Tonko: "Did you, administrator, authorize [Chief of Staff Ryan] Jackson to sign those documents for you?"
Pruitt: "Those were delegated to Mr. Jackson and the Inspector General did reference that in his management alert…"
Rep. Tonko: "So...you did authorize him?"
Pruitt: "That decision was made by…"
Rep. Tonko: "Yes or no?"
Pruitt: "There were delegations giving him that authority."
Rep. Tonko: "That’s a yes?"
Pruitt: "The Inspector General recognized that, Congressman."
Rep. Tonko: "...Sarah Greenwald, one of the aides who received a substantial raise said you were aware of and supported the raises…"
Pruitt: "...I was not aware of the amount…nor was I aware...of the bypassing or the PPO process not being respected."

Go deeper

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.

16 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.