Top aide to EPA chief abruptly resigns

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

A senior aide wrapped up in the ethics investigations of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has abruptly resigned.

Pruitt announced the departure of aide Millan Hupp in a statement Wednesday.

News of Hupp's resignation comes two days after Democratic lawmakers made public her testimony to a House oversight panel.

Hupp told lawmakers that Pruitt had her conduct numerous personal errands, including inquiring about buying a used mattress.

Pruitt is the target of a series of federal ethics investigations.


4:10 p.m.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is laughing at questions about whether he tried to use his position to get a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife.

Pruitt spoke Wednesday to a correspondent for Nexstar Media Group. They were his first comments since it was reported that he used a top aide to inquire about a "business opportunity" with the fast-food company. The reporter posted the video on Twitter.

Ethics rules prohibit officials from using their office for private gain.

In the video, Pruitt says, "We love Chick-fil-A as a franchise of faith." He adds that the country needs more Chick-fil-As and laughs.

He did not comment directly on whether he was seeking a franchise for his wife.

The EPA chief is the subject of several investigations into alleged ethical lapses.

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