Dem Senators Demand Justification for Pruitt Security Detail

Dem Senators Demand Justification for Pruitt Security Detail

Ryan Jackson, chief of staff at the EPA, is taking responsibility for the controversy surrounding pay increases given to two aides of Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Americans should all agree that members of the president's Cabinet should be kept safe from these violent threats", Wilcox said last week. It was unclear whether the move, first reported by Politico, was triggered by the release of information related to Pruitt's security.

In a letter to the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday, Sens.

Gowdy, who had led a high-profile investigation into a 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure, requested documents on Pruitt's travel on February 20.

EPA's inspector general is now auditing Pruitt's security spending — one of at least five ongoing probes by the agency's watchdog into spending and ethics issues surrounding the administrator.

It's unclear what happened to Pruitt's coin plans.

Correction: A comment from the EPA previously included in this story was not referring to Kevin Chmielewski.

EPA's assistant inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, has told The Washington Post and other media that Pruitt has received a higher number of threats than his predecessors - some of them "very personal, ugly threats".

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Pruitt, 49, demoted the career staff member heading his security detail and replaced him with EPA Senior Special Agent Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who operates a private security company.

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"These coins represent the agency", said Ronald Slotkin, who served as the director of the EPA's multimedia office until earlier this year.

"Administrator Pruitt had zero knowledge of the amount of the raises, nor the process by which they transpired".

Agency officials in a February 14 "Preliminary Intelligence Enterprise Threat Assessment Review" memo used all caps and bold print in the conclusion that justification for Pruitt's detail "does not employ sound analysis or articulate relevant "threat specific" information appropriate to draw any resource or level of threat conclusions regarding the protection posture for the administrator", The Post reported. EPA officials have said that various threats against Pruitt, including verbal public confrontations, led the head of his security detail to recommend that he fly in the front cabin of planes, both to provide a "buffer" from the public and also so that he could board and exit more quickly.

The embattled EPA chief wanted the agency's "challenge coin", a commemorative medal used as a sign of one's allegiance, to increase in size, bear his name in large letters around the rim and do away with the EPA logo featured on the current design, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

"It is hard to reconcile the public statements of E.P.A., and the President, with these internal and external assessments", Whitehouse and Carper wrote. "It may be that the materials we have been provided are incomplete and that EPA has additional information that justifies its public position", Whitehouse and Carper write.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins is conducting at least five investigative audits related to Pruitt, including a probe into questionable spending by his swollen security detail.

Pruitt, who sued the EPA when he was Oklahoma attorney general, has been criticized for rolling back environmental regulations under President Donald Trump.

Pruitt found the logo to resemble Cannabis, according to sources.

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