Pruitt Spokesman Leaving EPA for Republican Political Campaigns

(Bloomberg) -- An EPA spokesman who developed a reputation for fiercely defending the agency’s work and its former administrator is leaving to work on Republican political campaigns.

The departure of Jahan Wilcox, a veteran political operative who handled communications for the Environmental Protection Agency, follows the resignation of former Administrator Scott Pruitt last week. The agency’s No. 2 official, Andrew Wheeler, is now acting administrator.

“It’s been a privilege to advance President Trump’s agenda of environmental stewardship and regulatory reform,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Now it’s time to focus on helping Republicans in November.”

Willcox’s shift is a return to his roots; he has worked for Republican campaigns and politicians since 2005, according to an online resume. Most recently, Wilcox was communications director for Doug Burgum’s successful campaign for North Dakota governor. Wilcox also was an adviser on Iowa Republican Joni Ernst’s successful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and directed rapid response for both the Republican National Committee and Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.

Wilcox was often on the front lines amid a surge of allegations of ethical misconduct, questionable spending and abuses of power against Pruitt. He tangled with some reporters over their coverage and aggressively countered some story lines as the bad news about Pruitt mounted.

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