EPA watchdog says Pruitt sought 24/7 protection from start

Nellie Chapman
May 16, 2018

Pruitt later promoted Perrotta to lead his personal protective detail.

"What a silly reason you had to fly first class, because of a danger to you, unless you flew first class", Leahy told Pruitt at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing for the EPA.

Pruitt replied that the "policies were followed to the best of my knowledge by each of the agents that serve me".

"We believe that the continued use of coach seats for the Administrator would endanger his life and therefore respectfully ask that he be placed in either business or first class accommodations", the memo, dated May 1, 2017, reads.

During an interview with ABC News, Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff, said the administrator's assertion was a "bold-faced" lie. Udall asked Pruitt, who is at the center of a dozen investigations, reviews and audits.

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A top Republican senator worries that the ethical cloud hanging over President Donald Trump's top environmental official is overshadowing the administration's pro-business regulatory moves.

"I'm being asked, really constantly asked, to comment on security and on housing and on travel".

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, could require Pruitt to take the oath before his testimony in front of her committeeWednesday morning. He began by citing the Government Accountability Office's recent finding that EPA's purchase of a $43,000 private office booth for telephone calls broke federal law because the agency failed to notify Congress in advance of an expenditure exceeding a $5,000 cap on spending for office renovations.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt faced tough questioning Wednesday from senators about ethics investigations involving his travel spending, security precautions and large raises for young aides.

EPA's inspector general revealed earlier this week that Pruitt requested and received 24-hour security beginning his first day in office.

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