Pruitt: ‘I don’t recall’ asking security agents to use sirens

Pruitt: ‘I don’t recall’ asking security agents to use sirens
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSchwarzenegger: Pruitt is the worst EPA head 'we have ever had' Overnight Energy: Pruitt’s security cost .5m in first year | Watchdog clears Perry's use of military, charter flights Congress should invest in science at the EPA MORE told senators Wednesday that he doesn’t “recall” asking his security detail to use lights and sirens when driving him through Washington, D.C.

The New York Times reported last month that Pruitt had asked his security agents and driver to use lights and sirens in nonemergency situations to get to certain appointments faster, including dinner at a French restaurant, and that an agent was removed from the security detail for pushing back.

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDem senator presses EPA over reporter 'intimidation' Dems expand 2018 message to ‘draining the swamp’ Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus MORE (N.M.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee panel that oversees the EPA’s budget, asked Pruitt repeatedly if that report was true.

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“I don’t recall that happening, Sen. Udall,” Pruitt said. “There are policies that the agency follows, the agents follow. And to my knowledge, they followed it in all instances.”

Asked again, specifically, if he had requested the use of lights and sirens, Pruitt again denied knowledge.

“No, I don’t recall that,” he said.

The denials came despite claims earlier Wednesday by Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperHillicon Valley: Sweeping new data rules take effect | Facebook, Google already hit with complaints | Schumer slams reported ZTE deal | Senators look to save cyber post | Dem wants answers about Trump's phone security Senator asks Pentagon again for info on Trump's cellphone security Senate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation MORE (D-Del.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation EPA extends comment period on controversial science transparency rule House easily passes prison reform bill backed by Trump MORE (D-R.I.).

In a letter to EPA’s Inspector General Arthur Elkins, the Democrats say they obtained an email from Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, at the time the head of Pruitt’s security detail, saying that Pruitt “encourages the use” of lights and sirens when his detail drives him.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Democrats, for whom Carper is the leader, tweeted what they say is the email in question later Wednesday morning. 

Carper and Whitehouse asked for an investigation into Perrotta’s role in Pruitt’s security decisions, including the potential use of sirens.