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 PruittEPA looks to other statutes to expand scope of coming 'secret science' rule EPA ordered to reconsider New York efforts to tame downwind pollution OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten smog standards amid pressure from green groups | Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects| Russian mining giant reports another fuel spill in Arctic 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 UdallInterior finalizes public lands agency HQ move out West over congressional objections Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats introduce bill to ban chlorpyrifos, other pesticides to protect farmworkers 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 CarperNot a pretty picture: Money laundering and America's art market OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat | White House pushed to release documents on projects expedited due to coronavirus | Trump faces another challenge to rewrite of bedrock environmental law NEPA White House pushed to release documents on projects expedited due to coronavirus MORE (D-Del.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks Liability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks 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.