Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Millions spent on Pruitt's security and travel

Millions spent on Pruitt's security and travel

Total security costs reportedly are almost $3 million when pay is added to travel expenses. EPA's press office did not respond Friday to provide details of any specific threats or arrests.

Numerous controversies surrounding Pruitt involve Oklahoma.

In August, the EPA's inspector general began investigating a number of expensive, taxpayer-funded trips Pruitt took.

Pruitt has also been under fire over his explanation of how two close aides secured raises worth tens of thousands of dollars a year over the White House's objection, and reports that several EPA staff who questioned him were transferred to other jobs.

She said the White House, which has been conducting an internal investigation into Pruitt's conduct, was "continuing to review any of the concerns that we have".

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But Trump, who is personally fond of Pruitt and sees him as a crucial ally in his effort to roll back environmental rules, has resisted firing him, disregarding warnings that the drumbeat of negative headlines about the administrator has grown unsustainable, and that more embarrassing revelations could surface. CNN also reported that the President continued to defend Pruitt because he has considered him as a replacement for another top official Trump has criticized: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Multiple agents also accompanied Pruitt to a baseball game at the University of Kentucky and at his house outside Tulsa, during which no official EPA events were scheduled. The security is eating up so many resources that it's preventing EPA investigators from doing their jobs.

Almost three dozen EPA security and law enforcement agents were assigned to Pruitt, according to a summary of six weeks of weekly schedules obtained by Democratic Sen. At least 20 employees were placed on the detail, some of them reassigned from field work, according a letter from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat.

Pruitt's predecessor, Gina McCarthy, had a security detail that numbered about a half dozen, less than a third the size of Pruitt's. She flew trainer and wasn't followed by safety during her hours, for example on weekend excursions house to Boston.

Last year, the EPA spent almost £9,000 on increased counter-surveillance Pre-Cautions for Pruitt, for example employing a private builder to sweep his off ice for concealed listening devices along with installing sophisticated biometric locks to your doors. In an interview with Fox News, he described his living arrangement as an "Airbnb situation", and said EPA's ethics office had signed off on it. But Pruitt got an ornate refurbished desk comparable in grandeur to the one in the Oval Office. The group also is recruiting conservative voices to join the cause, with a Twitter campaign urging supporters to call the White House switchboard with endorsements of the EPA chief.

The prior head of Pruitt's security detail, Eric Weese, was demoted a year ago after he refused Pruitt's demand to use the lights and sirens on his government-owned SUV to get him through Washington traffic to the airport and dinner reservations.

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