A Democratic senator has asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General to add new details about Administrator Scott Pruitt’s use of a security detail for personal trips to its ongoing investigation into Pruitt’s travel and round-the-clock security expenses, CNN reported Friday.
According to a letter obtained by CNN that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sent to the EPA Inspector General, Pruitt used between two and three dozen different security agents over the course of six weeks. The agents reportedly accompanied him to the Rose Bowl, a family vacation to Disneyland and to a University of Kentucky basketball game, according to CNN’s review of the letter.
Whitehouse told CNN that he had learned about the new details of Pruitt’s security detail through a confidential source, who provided documents and schedules to back up the allegations.
The EPA’s Inspector General is already probing Pruitt’s excessive spending. Pruitt has come under scrutiny for having a $25,000 sound-proof phone booth installed in his office, flying first class for official business and requiring round-the-clock security.
The EPA has defended Pruitt’s expensive travel and security detail, maintaining that Pruitt has received an unprecedented amount of threats to his personal safety, like people shouting “profanities” at him. Pruitt has racked up nearly $200,000 in travel expenses since taking office, according to multiple reports, including spending more than $30,000 for security detail on a trip to Italy in June and a $1,600 tab to fly first class from D.C. to New York last month.
“While I consider matters of personal security to be extremely serious, personal security should never be used as a pretext to obtain special treatment,” Whitehouse said in the letter, according to CNN.
Pruitt told CBS recently that there was “a change coming” in the way he travels and said he would start flying coach.
Correction: This story incorrectly stated that Pruitt used his security detail to travel to Disney World. It was actually Disneyland. TPM regrets this error.
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