Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tried to get a straight answer from Sarah Huckabee Sanders about EPA chief Scott Pruitt's security expenses. But she had nothing coherent to offer.
The ongoing scandal surrounding EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s massive security expenditures continues to dog the Trump administration. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t do the White House any favors with her vague responses at Monday’s press briefing.
EPA spokespeople have insisted that Pruitt has faced an “unprecedented” number of death threats. And Trump defended Pruitt over the weekend. “Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA,” he tweeted.
Yet the best example of a specific “threat” Pruitt ever offered was someone yelling “You’re fucking up the environment” at him in an airport.
Further, a reporter from BuzzFeed submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the EPA to obtain records of the supposed litany of threats. The EPA told him there were zero records.
It’s unclear why an instance of heckling requires millions of dollars for security. And when pressed about it by Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey, Sanders didn’t shed any light on the issue.
Dawsey asked if Trump was “OK” with Pruitt “taking first-class travel and tripling the size of [his] security detail.”
Sanders said the administration was still “reviewing the specifics.” And she again claimed that there was a “much larger number of security issues” than past EPA chiefs had encountered.
Dawsey then asked if those “security issues” were included in any police reports. “There’s been reporting that, across the country, no one found the death threats or police reports that jeopardized his life or safety.”
“What are you talking about?” he asked point-blank.
Sanders responded by vaguely referencing “questions” raised about Pruitt’s safety, saying the administration was “continuing to review that.”
She didn’t explain what exactly was under review, considering the EPA itself provided no documentation when asked.
And the Associated Press “found no case where anyone has been arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt” after reviewing state and federal court records.
Pruitt’s self-made scandals keep getting worse. Sanders attempted to make reasonable-sounding statements about the massive security expenses. But when the costs are based on what seems to be a complete fiction, it’s not easy to come up with an explanation that makes any logical sense.