Following scrutiny over his penchant for round-the-clock security and expensive first-class travel, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told CBS Wednesday that there was “change coming” and promised his next flight would be coach, not first class.
During an interview on CBS News’ “The Takeout” podcast, Pruitt reiterated that he had only been flying first-class in recent months because he was facing “unprecedented” threats.
“There’s a change coming, because look the security threat matters,” Pruitt said. “What I’ve told them going forward is this: There is a change occurring, you’re going to accommodate the security threats as they exist, you’re going to accommodate those in all ways, alternate ways, up to and including flying coach, and that is what’s going to happen on my very next flight. So those things are happening right away.”
This week, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) sent a letter to the EPA asking for Pruitt’s travel records. Pruitt has faced criticism in recent months amid reports that he has taken several first class flights, on short trips up and down the east coast and one to Milan, which cost a total of $43,000.
The EPA claims Pruitt started taking first class flights because he was receiving significant threats. Henry Barnet, the director of the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, told Politico that flying first class helps Pruitt avoid confrontations, like people shouting profanities at him.