Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

EPA chief spent millions on security and travel

Pruitt  and Trump
  Associated Press  Pablo Martinez Monsivais Pruitt and Trump Associated Press Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Lillian Steele | 10 April, 2018, 20:03

Taxpayers have paid more to safeguard Pruitt than past EPA chiefs but those expenditures are justified due to the fact Pruitt has been under threat, Trump wrote.

As his security and travel expenses increased, Pruitt championed budget cuts and staff reductions at the agency so deep that even Republican budget hawks in Congress refused to implement them.

Trump is of course referring to three separate scandals which have embroiled Pruitt: his unprecedented security force and its extraordinary cost; the low-priced condo he rented in Washington, D.C. from a lobbyist with business before the EPA, and his high travel expenses. Trump defended those costs, too.

The mind of a congressional supervision panel is now exploring Pruitt'using a condominium connected into an energy lobbyist, a aide said on Saturday.

"While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA", Trump tweeted.

Saturday night, Trump tweeted that Pruitt is "doing a great job".

The House of Representatives Oversight Committee, chaired by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, has started looking at Pruitt's housing agreements, according to the aide, that was not authorized to talk openly.

Wilcox said Pruitt has faced an unprecedented number of death threats against him and his family and "Americans should all agree that members of the President's cabinet should be kept safe from these violent threats".

Law makers are inspecting Pruitt for leasing a room in a high-end townhouse co-owned by the wife of energy-industry lobbyist Steven Hart for $50 a night time, an agreement that has drawn fire from integrity experts. Many Democrats and even a few Republicans have said he should resign or be fired. Media reviews state the payment is less than twenty-five the buying price tag on similar properties. Trump has praised Pruitt's relentless efforts to scrap, delay or rewrite Obama-era environmental regulations.

"First of all, let me say that the actions taken by Scott Pruitt in the environmental arena, whether it's trying to undermine the Clean Power Plan, or weaken the restrictions on lead, or undermine the methane rules, are reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation", Collins replied.

Rent was not "market rate" when you factor in that Pruitt didn't have to pay for nights not there, didn't have to furnish the condo, didn't have to pay for electricity, heat, or hot water, cable TV, telephone service, etc.

CNN also reported that Trump recently had floated replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who has earned Trump's ire for recusing himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation previous year - with the scandal-ridden Pruitt.

'Don't turn on the siren on your SUV just to watch people move over, ' Kennedy also advised, referencing a New York Times report in which sources told the newspaper that Pruitt would want to use his motorcade's lights and sirens in order to get around D.C. quicker.

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