President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday night that he supported his EPA chief, arguing that Pruitt's 24-7 security, travel costs and housing arrangements were justified and adding, "Scott is doing a great job!".
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox has cited "unprecedented" threats against Pruitt and his family as justification for extraordinary security expenses such as first-class airfare to keep him separate from most passengers - a perk generally not available to federal employees. And it reports that at least five agency officials faced retaliation after questioning Pruitt's outsized spending for travel, unprecedented security precautions and pricey office furniture.
Specifically, Apol mentioned the controversy surrounding Pruitt's $50-a-night condo rental past year from a Washington lobbyist, noting that the EPA chief had not sought an ethics opinion on the arrangement in advance.
"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, '" assistant inspector general Patrick Sullivan told CNN. Taxpayers still covered the airfare for the administrator's security detail.
Apol's missive comes as Pruitt takes heat after a number of media reports revealed he gave longtime aides raises despite the White House rejecting the pay hikes, his use of a 24/7 security team and paying $43,000 to build a soundproof telephone booth in his DC office.
The Hart's were also donors and fundraisers for Pruitt while he was a politician in Oklahoma. Pruitt told Fox News he moved out of the condo last summer. Pruitt flew to Morocco to plug American liquefied natural gas, not the job of an EPA head, but a pitch surely appreciated by the husband whose firm lobbies on behalf of a company with a liquefied natural gas export plant.
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In justifying his constant security, EPA officials have said he has received far more threats than previous administrators - some of them "very personal, ugly threats", an assistant inspector general told The Post a year ago. EPA's press office did not respond Friday to provide details of any specific threats or arrests.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., co-chairman of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, has urged Trump to fire Pruitt.
She too called for congressional oversight but declined to offer an opinion on whether Pruitt should resign or be fired.
Pruitt is already under investigation by the EPA's Office of Inspector General for his spending and use of private jets and luxury hotels and other ethical allegations.
"Certain questions have been raised about internal operations of the agency and the administrator's actions", Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming said in a Monday news release.
A nationwide search of state and federal court records by AP found no case where anyone has been arrested or charged with making violent threats against Pruitt.