Scott Pruitt hasn't saved taxpayers anything

Andrew Wheeler

The federal government's top ethics official is raising serious questions about Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's potential violations of law.

He added that Pruitt's security spending "somewhat more" than prior EPA chiefs, but said Pruitt had received death threats "because of his bold actions at EPA".

"According to EPA's assistant inspector general, Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and his family", Fox quoted EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox as saying.

Pruitt has done a fantastic job of demonstrating what ego and entitlement look like - by requesting a 24/7, 20-person security detail, three times bigger than his predecessor's, and a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office so that EPA employees can't overhear his conversations.

On Saturday, Trump reiterated his support, defending Pruitt's spending and his $50 per night rental arrangement with the lobbyist couple. Trump, however, said last week Pruitt was "doing a great job", and signaled Pruitt would remain in his current role. She only had a security detail during travel.

Pruitt has been heavily criticized over the last few weeks due to excessive spending and possible ethics violations.

Kennedy suggested that Pruitt hold a press conference and discuss some of the negative coverage openly, detailing how he plans to change his behavior and explaining which aspects of the news coverage he doesn't find fair.

"Thus far, Pruitt's conduct has raised no red flags with the EPA's so-called ethics office, which seems to be run by Gordon Gekko", said EWG President Ken Cook.

Furthermore, in addition to Pruitt canceling several of Obama's proposed regulations and rules, recent reports disclosing Pruitt's spending and management raise concern.

Putting Pruitt in this position is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house.

But the Democrats' letter says that the assessments from the US Secret Service identify no "reports of behaviors of interest" against Pruitt, and says that "an internal EPA Intelligence Office report that disputes the administrator's claims that the nature of the threats against him justify his expenditures". The EPA did not respond to AP's request Friday to provide details of "any specific threats or arrests". If confirmed, he would replace the administrator if Pruitt were to get fired or resign. His stature among deep red members of the Republican Party and skills as an environmental lawyer also mean that it would be very hard to push a replacement of equal talent through the Senate in the next six months.

In justifying his constant security, EPA officials have said he has received far more threats than previous administrators - some of them "very personal, ugly threats", an assistant inspector general told The Post a year ago. Pruitt has also spent more than $168,000 on air travel during his first year in office, often flying first class while taxpayers footed the bill but preferring coach when he was paying the costs himself. The EPA official said there are legitimate concerns about Pruitt's safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.

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