Multiple sources told CNN that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt asked President Donald Trump in the spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and put him in charge, the cable news outlet reported Tuesday.
According to the three sources familiar with the matter, Pruitt proposed to Trump that he would temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act and then return to Oklahoma to run for office.
CNN reported in April that this was an option Trump was already considering as his frustrations with Sessions mounted and his support for Pruitt remained steadfast, despite the 14 federal ethics investigations into the EPA administrator and an onslaught of scandals.
On Monday, it emerged that a former Pruitt aide told federal investigators that the EPA administrator had asked her to help his wife find a job paying her a salary of at least $200,000.
Pruitt’s spending habits have also become a consistent source of inquiry. In late June, reports emerged that he had spent even more taxpayer money on security expenses than the millions previously disclosed, including tens of thousands on tactical clothing.
Other reports allege Pruitt sent his security team out on errands, including dry-cleaning trips and one to find his favorite luxury lotion from the Ritz-Carlton.
Despite Pruitt’s ongoing scandals, Trump has directed more ire at Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.