While Wheeler may find it hard to accumulate the same number of ridiculous scandals as his predecessor, many pointed to the fact that he hosted fundraisers for GOP senators while they were evaluating his nomination for deputy EPA administrator as clear evidence of his contempt for basic ethical standards.
"He is a very environmental person". But Wheeler told The Hill newspaper this week that he's not interested in the top EPA job.
He denied wrongdoing amid multiple inquiries into his conduct. Reports have described above-average expenses that include first-class travel, a 24/7 security detail and, recently, $10,200 in costs associated with his upgrade to a larger SUV.
Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition: "Someone needs to make sure Scott Pruitt doesn't smuggle his $43,000 soundproof phone booth out of the EPA offices". It was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA.
But revelations about his behavior continued to mount, including reports that he repeatedly enlisted subordinates to help him search for housing, book personal travel and even help search for a six-figure job for his wife.
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The president expressed confidence he would go on to do "great things". "In the meantime, I know Assistant Administrator Andrew Wheeler is well prepared to continue the progress already made under President Trump".
Trump's inner circle has had a revolving door since his first weeks in office, when he sacked national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Mr Trump has praised Mr Pruitt for slashing regulations on the energy and manufacturing industries, including his move to repeal Democratic former president Barack Obama's signature program to cut carbon emissions from power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan.
"Good riddance", tweeted House Democrat Earl Blumenauer. He sought repeals of major Obama-era regulations like the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the USA, or WOTUS, rule while arguing EPA needed to go "back to basics" with a focus on cleaning up toxic waste sites under the Superfund program and boosting water infrastructure to combat lead poisoning. Pruitt abruptly ended lunch at a Washington, D.C., eatery on Monday after a woman cradling her 2-year-old son confronted him, demanded his resignation and told him the country deserves an EPA administrator who "believes in climate change".