Collins: Pruitt Is 'Wrong Person' To Lead EPA 'On Policy Grounds Alone'

Environmental group hang posters mocking Pruitt’s rental in DC

The EPA official knowledgeable about Pruitt's security spending says Perrotta oversaw a rapid expansion of the EPA chief's security detail to accommodate guarding him day and night, even on family vacations and when Pruitt was home in Oklahoma. 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.

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

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

At least five other EPA employees who had objected to Pruitt's spending plans, such as to buy a bulletproof sports utility vehicle or to sign up for a $100,000-a-month plan allowing him to travel in a private jet when on official business, were reassigned or demoted, The New York Times reported.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire told the Portsmouth Herald on Thursday that Pruitt should step down "because of the inappropriate behavior that has come out about taking money inappropriately from lobbyists, about his travel, some of the other things".

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. Trump has praised Pruitt's relentless efforts to scrap, delay or rewrite Obama-era environmental regulations.

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.

The size of Pruitt's security is unprecedented.

Even some Republican lawmakers have called for Pruitt's ouster in recent days, though President Donald Trump has joined many conservatives and industry representatives in standing by the embattled EPA chief.

But the White House has remained adamant in its support of Pruitt as head of the EPA.

Perrotta's biography, on the website of his company, Sequoia Security Group, says that during his earlier stint with the Secret Service he worked with the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian finance police.

'Well, that's going to be up to the president, ' he answered.

Pruitt is also under fire for frequent first-class air travel and for purchasing costly items for his office, including a soundproof telephone booth.

Those purchases were not approved. He's also reportedly advised his security fleet to use its sirens and lights as he periodically travels late to meetings and dinners.

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