President Donald Trump praised Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Saturday for the “great job” he’s doing, while studiously ignoring the multiple scandals he’s embroiled in.
“While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold action at EPA,” Trump wrote.
While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
Pruitt’s security spending wasn’t “somewhat more.” It was a lot more.
The EPA chief has spent nearly $3 million in travel and security, including “a 20-member full-time detail that is more than three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent,” the Associated Press reported Friday.
An EPA official told AP that Pruitt has security day and night, including on family vacations, and that he now flies first class with the security chief he appointed when he first came into office.
The Associated Press searched state and federal records and found no instance of anyone being arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt. The director of the agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement previously told Politico that Pruitt is flying first class because he feels unsafe after other travelers were rude to him. The example given was of someone who walked up to Pruitt and yelled “Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment.”
The AP report is just the latest scandal for Pruitt, in what already has been a very bad week.
Last week, ABC News and Bloomberg reported that Pruitt was renting a luxury condo in Washington, D.C. from an energy lobbyist for only $50 a night — far below market rate for the district. It costs double that for the government to shelter a homeless person in Washington, D.C. The Daily Beast later reported that the condo was a “fundraising hub” for the Republican Party, and at least three congressmen held fundraisers while Pruitt lived there.
Pruitt also came under fire this week for considering renting a private jet, going around the White House to get two of his close aides huge pay raises, and re-assigning or demoting EPA staff who expressed concern about his excessive spending.
And this should go without saying, but Scott Pruitt has not brought about “Record clean Air & Water” — whatever that means. Pruitt doesn’t believe in climate change and has said his proudest moment was Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.