Inspector general says Pruitt lied about threats to justify his security detail

Things just keep getting worse for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
May 15, 2018, 1:15am

Things just keep getting worse for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

On April 26, Pruitt testified he had received threats so intense and “unprecedented in terms of quality and type” that they justified his constant, 24/7 taxpayer-funded security detail that accompanied him everywhere — including on his personal trips to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl. What's more, Pruitt said, even the inspector general himself had documented death threats against him, and in an August 2017 inspector general document, listed threats against Pruitt and others as reasoning for the round-the-clock security detail.

But on Monday, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins disputed that in a letter to Democratic Senators Tom Carper and Sheldon Whitehouse, adding that Pruitt had actually ordered his constant security right after he was confirmed as EPA administrator.

“The EPA Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training has informed the Inspector General that EPA’s Protective Service Detail began providing 24/7 coverage of the Administrator the first day he arrived at the EPA,” Elkins said in his letter to the senators. “The decision was made by the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training after being informed that Mr. Pruitt requested 24/7 protection once he was confirmed as Administrator.”

Pruitt has so far survived a range of scandals, including renting a lobbyist's condo in the capital, giving raises for favorite staffers he later denied giving, flying first class across the U.S. on the taxpayer's dollar, and spending $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth.

Cover image via Getty Images

Advertisement