But the multitude of scandals surrounding Pruitt were in fact his own doing. It was the defensiveness evident in his letter to the president that led to a routine mistreatment of his subordinates that led them to speak out—and may have sealed his fate.

The litany of former staffers with an ax to grind kept the Pruitt controversy in the headlines for months, eventually managing to exhaust President Trump’s patience, White House sources say. Even Fox News, the reliably supportive cable news outlet from which the president often gleans political advice, had turned on Pruitt by the end…

Pruitt’s scandals began as those of other Trump Cabinet officials have: with details of his lavish travel and spending habits. He’d spent $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth in his office, $105,000 on first class airfare, and took advantage of chartered military flights on the taxpayer dime.