Transcript for White House lawyers probing embattled EPA chief’s 2017 apartment deal
Next, EPA chief Scot Pruitt is still on the job tonight, despite a growing cloud of controversy. Today, he scrapped obama-era fuel standards for cars and trucks, a key piece of president trump’s agenda. The president and chief of staff John Kelly both called Pruitt to tell him they have his back, at the same time the white house has him under investigation. Here’s ABC’s Mary Bruce. Reporter: With calls growing for him to fire his embattled EPA chief, president trump today was pressed on where he stands. Reporter: Scott Pruitt, sir? Do you support Scott Pruitt, sir? I hope he’s going to be great. Reporter: Overnight, the president called Pruitt. His message, according to an administration official — keep fighting. We have your back. But privately, sources say the president is frustrated with all the controversy. White house lawyers are now investigating Pruitt’s living situation, after ABC news reported on his alleged sweetheart real estate deal. Pruitt renting a room in this D.C. Apartment for just $50 a night, far below the cost of similar units. The owner, the wife of a lobbyist who has energy clients doing business with the EPA. Today, new questions about that relationship. While Pruitt was living in the apartment, the EPA green-lighted a major pipeline project for a Canadian energy company represented by that lobbyist. In a statement to “The New York Times,” the EPA says any attempt to draw a link between the deal and the living arrangement is “Patently false” and insists the lease of the apartment was “Consistent with federal ethics relations.” That lobbyist saying he has not lobbied the EPA during the trump administration. Pruitt is also under fire for reportedly giving two of his top aides large salary hikes, even after the white house refused to sign off. Using a little known loophole Pruitt did it anyway. Giving one aide a nearly $57,000 pay raise. We caught up with Pruitt today. Do you have the president’s support? Was it a mistake to rent that apartment? And Mary joins us from Washington. Mary, some Republicans are calling for Pruitt to resign. And he just commented about the cloud of controversy surrounding him? Reporter: Tom, two Republicans are now calling for Pruitt to go. And just now, in an interview with “The Washington examiner,” Pruitt rips into what he calls toxic Washington, saying his critics, quote, will resort to anything to stop the trump agenda. Tom? Mary Bruce with that new development tonight. All right, Mary, thank you. The department of homeland security revealing a startling discovery. Secret listening devices installed all around Washington, D.C. That could intercept cell phone calls. Who might be tapping into those calls? Here’s ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz. Reporter: Tom, for the first time, the department of homeland security is acknowledging publicly that unauthorized devices, rogue devices, were found around the nation’s capital, devices that could be used by foreign spies or criminals to track individual cell phones and intercept calls and messages. These so-called cell phone site simulators like the one you saw trick mobile devices onto locking onto these rogue sites instead of the real cell towers. Dhs has not identified who is behind this. This remains a real mystery. Dhs says only they have observed anomalous activity. Tom? Spy games at a whole new level.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.