According to one top EPA official, the 26-year-old was “tired of being thrown under the bus by Pruitt,” and weary of seeing her name constantly appear in headlines about the agency. Officials began drafting her resignation paperwork on Monday morning, just after portions of her congressional testimony had been made public.
Hupp’s testimony contributed to the long list of scandals and improprieties plaguing the agency—including, most notably, that Pruitt rented a Capitol Hill condo from an energy lobbyist for just $50 a night, and spent more than $40,000 on a soundproof booth in his office on the taxpayers’ dime. The Washington Post also reported that Pruitt instructed Hupp to inquire about opportunities for his wife to purchase a Chick-Fil-A franchise. For months now, according to multiple White House and EPA sources, officials as senior as Chief of Staff John Kelly have lobbied President Donald Trump to fire Pruitt.
Rumors circulated that Trump was simply waiting for Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, to be confirmed before letting Pruitt go. But that was two months ago. Since then, according to reports, Trump has been increasingly irritated by the barrage of stories that reflect poorly on his administration, including The Atlantic’s reporting on a Pruitt aide who tried shopping negative stories about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to other news outlets. Yet the EPA administrator appears to remain in good standing.