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Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) warned embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt Wednesday that he may have to resign given his mounting ethics scandals.

The bottom line: Speaking on Wednesday in a radio interview with conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, who herself has called for Pruitt to step down, Inhofe said the administrator "has really done some things that surprised me." An option for him to fix things, Inhofe said, "would be for him to leave that job."

Why it matters: Pruitt has been embroiled in a slew of ethics controversies surrounding his spending and management decisions at the agency. The latest controversy came Wednesday morning, when the Washington Post reported that he used agency staff to try to land a job for his wife at an outside political group.

  • During the radio interview, Inhofe said he was going to let Pruitt know about his frustration over his continued behavior in office. "I’m sending a communication over today that we’ve had enough of these things and you need to get down and do the job we’re elected to do," he said.

Yes, but: A spokesperson for Inhofe told Axios the senator was not calling for Pruitt's resignation, but that he has concerns about the reported allegations and wants to hear about them from Pruitt. After the radio interview, Inhofe spoke to the Post about Pruitt, and said he's seeking a meeting with the administrator no later than Monday.

“I’m keeping my powder dry until I talk to him, which would be Monday at the very latest,” the senator said.

Go deeper: Why Pruitt's departure would not change EPA's policies.

Go deeper

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.