Donald Trump stands by embattled EPA chief Pruitt in tweet

Donald Trump stands by embattled EPA chief Pruitt in tweet

On Friday, CNN reported that the couple, Vicki and Steven Hart, forced Pruitt out of the apartment by changing the code on their locks after the they became increasingly frustrated with him as a tenant.

In what many have to see as a stunning blind eye to the massive ethical corruption of Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump Saturday evening posted a tweet delivering the embattled EPA administrator the greater gift he could ever hope for: compliments and pity.

But in March, a report in the Washington Free Beacon asserted that EPA appointees of President Barack Obama had expenses that matched or surpassed Pruitt's.

Perrotta signed off on new procedures that let Pruitt fly first-class on commercial airliners, with the security chief typically sitting next to him with other security staff farther back on the plane.

"Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK", Trump wrote. Legal experts told Bloomberg, however, that they knew of a href="https://www.bna.com/epa-foe-pruitt-n73014448247/" target="_blank" no rules in place /a that would compel such an action on Pruitt's part.br br "Every American should be appalled that President-elect Trump just picked someone who has made a career of being a vocal defender for polluters to head our Environmental Protection Agency", Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice, a href="http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2016/earthjustice-responds-to-president-elect-trump-s-pick-to-head-the-environmental-protection-agency" target="_blank" said /a in a December 2016 statement.

But Pruitt's ambitious domestic and worldwide travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000.

He has also been criticized for high security costs - and expensive travel as well -after it was revealed he has been using 24-hour security details staffed by up to 19 people.

Then during a trip to Italy in June, Pruitt was accompanied by nine aides and a security detail that cost more than $120,000.




The EPA spent almost $9,000 past year on increased counter-surveillance precautions for Pruitt, including hiring a private contractor to sweep his office for hidden listening devices and installing sophisticated biometric locks for the doors.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said late Friday that an "unprecedented" number of death threats against Pruitt was behind the steep security costs of protecting him.

The EPA official said there are legitimate concerns about Pruitt's safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.

Pruitt's predecessor, Gina McCarthy, had a security detail that numbered about a half dozen, less than a third the size of Pruitt's.

Hart lobbies for organizations regulated by the EPA.

That increase in spending came as the Trump administration shared plans for cutting the EPA's budget by about 30%, including major cuts to the agency's enforcement work and staffing and the elimination of some programs.

Pruitt has been under the spotlight in recent weeks for decisions executed during his tenure that have raised ethics questions. Trump told colleagues on Thursday which he'd take a consider integrity allegations versus Pruitt but included the official has been doing a "marvelous occupation".

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