Pruitt’s chief of staff eyes exit — source

By Robin Bravender, Zack Colman | 04/05/2018 01:39 PM EDT

Ryan Jackson, left, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during a meeting with Western governors.

Ryan Jackson, left, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during a meeting with Western governors. @EPAScottPruitt/Twitter

The chief of staff to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is looking to leave his job as ethics problems continue to besiege his boss, according to an administration official.

Ryan Jackson has been unhappy in the job for a while, according to the source, but the scandals have made the job even less appealing. Jackson is responsible for much of the administrative work in Pruitt’s office, meaning he’s been at the center of the controversies.

The news that Jackson, a former longtime aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), is looking to exit comes as another top Pruitt aide is resigning. Samantha Dravis, Pruitt’s policy chief and one of his closest staffers, told agency officials last week that she’s planning to leave later this month.


The New York Times reported earlier today that Jackson has considered resigning due to frustration with Pruitt.

Pruitt told the Washington Times yesterday he’s told his team "all the way through this process, focus on results. Keep your head down, stay focused." Pruitt said of his critics, "We’re getting things done, and that’s what’s driving these folks crazy."

But the controversies surrounding Pruitt continue to simmer, and White House officials have said they’re investigating his behavior.

Donelle Harder, who worked with Jackson in the Senate, called Jackson a "person of commitment." She credited him with navigating tricky political situations as a congressional aide. "There were many opportunities to throw in the towel. Even in the midst of whatever inner turmoil is being perceived by the media, Ryan Jackson will know when the timing is right, thoughtful and best for a new chief of staff to take over," she said.

Jackson and EPA’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.