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 PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas 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 UdallSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities 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 CarperTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Melania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet EPA to abandon restrictions against chemical linked to climate change MORE (D-Del.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseKavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Dem vows to probe 'why the FBI stood down' on Kavanaugh Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh 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.