WASHINGTON — The D.C. mom who confronted now-former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday and asked him to resign said she was “jumping up and down” at today’s news that he had stepped down.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA,” President Trump tweeted this afternoon. “I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”
Kristin Mink, a teacher with a 2-year-old son, said she saw Pruitt having lunch three tables away from her at Teaism, an Asian-inspired tea house chain in D.C., on Monday and went up to speak with him. The interaction was filmed and she posted it on Facebook.
“We deserve to have someone at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who actually does believe in climate change and takes it seriously,” Mink told Pruitt. “I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”
She then began to detail some of her issues with the EPA. Pruitt did not respond and she said that he and his security detail left the restaurant before she got back to her own table.
Mink told DCist after Pruitt’s resignation was announced, “It’s not like I can take all the credit for this.”
“The great majority goes to effective fact-based research of quality journalists who exposed the depth of Scott Pruitt’s corruption,” she said.
Mink said she hopes her lunchtime interaction with Pruitt “empowers everyone who’d like to speak to their public officials — if you have something to say, say it.”
Pruitt was at the White House with other cabinet members on Wednesday evening, celebrating the Fourth of July and watching fireworks.
In his resignation letter today, Pruitt told Trump that “it is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.”
“However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us,” he wrote. “My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people.”
Pruitt is the subject of at least 13 different federal ethics probes over allegations such as misuse of taxpayer funds and using his office for personal enrichment. On Tuesday, CNN reported that Pruitt had asked Trump to let him replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department; Pruitt denied the report.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a one-word statement in response to Pruitt’s resignation: “Good.”