Al Gore: Trump 'ought to fire' Scott Pruitt

Posted April 12, 2018

Scott Pruitt's security detail has required far more resources than that of his predecessors, costing taxpayers almost $3 million when factoring in overtime and frequent travel for the agents who protect the Environmental Protection Agency administrator 24/7, according to an EPA official.

"Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him", spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement, noting that threat assessments are conducted by the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, using information provided by Pruitt's personal security detail, EPA's Office of Homeland Security and its inspector general.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.

But by Saturday night, President Trump took to Twitter to express support for Pruitt while also dismissing numerous reports surrounding the EPA chief's behavior.

Pruitt has done a fantastic job of showing that it pays to have friends - by renting a prime Washington condo at below-market rate from a woman whose husband is an energy lobbyist whose firm has business before the EPA, and who together made more than $4,000 in campaign contributions to Pruitt's Oklahoma attorney general campaigns and his federal political action committee.

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"Get the fuck up Pruitt, You've got a country to ruin!"

The Democrats also obtained a February 14 assessment from EPA's Office of Homeland Security Intelligence that concluded "EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific, credible, direct threat to the EPA administrator". Already facing big questions about his wasteful spending and relationships with lobbyists, Pruitt intensified his problems by dishonestly blaming his staff for one major ethical failure.

"We'll nitpick little things: he has too many people on his security detail, it may add up to more than what the previous guy did", he said.

The EPA requested that Pruitt's security detail be beefed up soon after he took office.

The Hart's were also donors and fundraisers for Pruitt while he was a politician in Oklahoma.

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Finally, he raised the "extremely concerning reports" of Pruitt demoting or reassigning staff who raised questions about his spending and travel.

Pruitt's security detail is estimated to be around three times the size of that of his predecessor, while another ex-EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman told CNN she walked to work alone after 9/11. In a later tweet, addressing possible criticism of his methods, Leopold clarified that those FOIA requests were lodged with both the EPA's headquarters and Inspector General's office.

Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, said on Meet the Press that he thought President Trump should keep Pruitt at the EPA because 'he's following through with the policies that the president said he wanted to implement'.

Two other Republicans who appeared on the Sunday shows were more willing to give Pruitt a pass.

That's on top of previously ongoing investigations into the administrator's outsized travel spending and purchase of a $43,000 soundproof privacy booth purchased for the administrator to make private phone calls.

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