Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has an unprecedented round-the-clock security detail that now includes 18 people, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed people briefed on the situation.
Pruitt’s request for such a large security detail has required the EPA to pull special agents who typically investigate environmental crimes onto his detail, according to the Washington Post and CNN.
The EPA administrator reportedly requested a 24/7 security detail of 10 agents when he first assumed his post earlier this year. These latest stories confirm that Pruitt has had a round-the-clock security detail, a first for an EPA administrator.
The agency’s inspector general told the Washington Post and CNN that the EPA has seen an uptick in threats this year, many of them directed at Pruitt himself.
“We have at least four times — four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against Ms. [Gina] McCarthy,” Patrick Sullivan, the EPA’s assistant inspector general for investigations, told CNN.
“They run the variety of direct death threats — ‘I’m going to put a bullet in your brain’ — to implied threats — ‘if you don’t classify this particular chemical in this particular way, I’m going to hurt you,'” Sullivan added. “Then there’s implied threats — like they say in New York, with the mafia: ‘If you come after me and my family, I’ll come after you and your family.'”
According to documents obtained by E&E News through a Freedom of Information Act request in July, the EPA spent nearly double the amount previous administrations spent on security in its first three months under Pruitt.
Pruitt’s request for a large security detail comes as he pushes for a 31 percent funding cut across the agency.