Pruitt Had His EPA Office Checked For Surveillance Devices In March

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt looks back after speaking to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Shortly after Scott Pruitt began as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt had his office in the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters checked for covert surveillance devices, The Hill reported Monday evening.

The EPA paid $3,000 to Edwin Steinmetz Associates to conduct the sweep in March, according to documents obtained and reviewed by The Hill. The person at the EPA who gave the documents to The Hill said that the search did not uncover any devices.

Pruitt has taken unprecedented steps to secure himself and his conversations as EPA administrator. He has a 24/7 security details with 18 agents, perhaps in part due to the high number of threats he has received. The EPA also spent $25,000 to build a sound-proof booth for Pruitt.

Asked about the sweep for surveillance devices, EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox stressed in a statement security decisions are made by the EPA’s Protective Service Detail and that at least one previous administrator had a similar sweep done.

“Administrator Pruitt has received an unprecedented amount of threats against him and security decisions are made by EPA’s Protective Service Detail,” Wilcox said in a statement to TPM. “A similar security sweep was done for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.”