Energy & Environment

Dem Senator: Pruitt took taxpayer-funded security detail to Disneyland, Rose Bowl game

Greg Nash

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general, alleging that Administer Scott Pruitt has used his security detail on nonofficial trips to Disneyland and a Rose Bowl game.

The letter was obtained by CNN after Whitehouse says he was given confidential information from an unnamed source, the network reported Friday.

It alleges that Pruitt took his security detail on a trip home to Tulsa, Okla., and on family vacations to Disneyland, the Rose Bowl game and a University of Kentucky basketball game.

{mosads} There is already an ongoing investigation into Pruitt’s travel expenses and use of round-the-clock security detail. But Whitehouse’s letter insists these new details be looked at by the inspector general, CNN reported.

Whitehouse is concerned that “significant agency resources are being devoted” to administer Pruitt’s 24/7 security, even when he is traveling for personal reasons.

“While I consider matters of personal security to be extremely serious, personal security should never be used as a pretext to obtain special treatment,” Whitehouse wrote.

Whitehouse said an unnamed source provided him with weekly schedules and other documents that show Pruitt using between 24 and 36 different security agents during a six-week period, CNN reported.

The EPA told CNN that Pruitt “follows the same security protocol whether he’s in his personal or official capacity,” when asked about the letter.

Pruitt has been scrutinized for the cost of his travel and the $43,000 “privacy booth” he allegedly had put into his office. 

It was reported last week that Pruitt spent more than $105,000 on first-class airline travel during his first year on the job. The report showed that the EPA spent more than $30,000 in taxpayer money to bring Pruitt’s security detail on an $84,000 trip to Italy.

The EPA also confirmed that his protective service details fly with him in first class.

Pruitt has defended his use of first-class flights by saying his security team made the decision after a series of “incidents.”

“We live in a very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment. We’ve reached the point where there’s not much civility in the marketplace and it’s created, you know, it’s created some issues and the [security] detail, the level of protection is determined by the level of threat,” he said.

It was later reported by Politico that someone approached Pruitt in the airport and yelled profanities at him.

EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement Director Henry Barnet said someone approached Pruitt and shouted: “Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment.”

Pruitt has since pledged to only fly coach. 

Last week, Pruitt slammed the media for reporting on the cost of his foreign travel, saying he was “dumbfounded by the kind of media narratives” being reported on.

Tags Disneyland Environment Protection Agency EPA first class flights Rose Bowl Scott Pruitt Scott Pruitt; EPA Security detail Sheldon Whitehouse Travel expenses Tulsa

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