A member of the beachhead team leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Trump administration has unexpectedly resigned over issues of “integrity” within political appointees and EPA staff.
Assistant Deputy Administrator David Schnare, known as an outspoken climate change skeptic and a key player in reforming the agency, announced his resignation on Mar. 15, citing what he called a “question of integrity” in the department.
“This wasn’t about me being angry or upset,” Schnare reportedly told The Daily Caller, saying his resignation had a “much deeper story” than he was willing to disclose at the time. “I wasn’t forced out, and it wasn’t in a tiff,” Schnare said. “I just wasn’t in a position to achieve much anymore.”
According to The Hill, he said on Thursday that a number of factors led to his decision to resign, including the fact that some agency employees are seeking to undermine Trump’s agenda.
Schnare said the vast majority of career staff at the EPA, where he previously worked for decades, are dedicated public servants, but there are a small handful “who definitely were antagonistic” to Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt, reports The Hill.
An unnamed career staffer told Politico that EPA employees will “fight actions they deem ill-advised or illegal by quietly providing information of what is happening inside their agencies to advocacy groups and the media.”
The report also states that a group of EPA staffers used encryption apps such as Signal to communicate with one another in a way that was untraceable by the White House, which may violate federal records law.
Additionally, some government employees may have created “rogue” Twitter accounts to attack the Trump administration, and some EPA employees said they would boycott Trump if he visited the agency.
Leading up to his resignation, The Daily Caller also reported that Schnare was allegedly “shut out from very senior meetings.”
Other than agency officials’ lack of integrity and the fact that he had been increasingly frustrated with what he described as endless infighting at the agency, exact details surrounding why he left remain unclear, though Schnare expressed that he plans to write about the events soon.
“When the time comes, I will name names and go into specifics,” Schnare said. When asked if the details would be “eye-opening,” he replied: “Oh, I think so.”
Schnare told reporters that the White House is reviewing the circumstances surrounding his resignation.
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