A new complaint from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse alleges Scott Pruitt takes his expensive government security detail on personal and family trips.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is in trouble yet again for misusing taxpayer resources — this time to take personal trips, including a family trip to Disneyland, a visit to the Rose Bowl and a stop in Lexington for a University of Kentucky basketball game.
According to a letter sent by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to the EPA Office of the Inspector General, Pruitt kept his multimillion-dollar government security detail with him on personal vacations. No previous EPA administrator has ever demanded 24-hour security detail even while not on official business.
Per Whitehouse’s letter, “significant agency resources are being devoted to administrator Pruitt’s round-the-clock security, even when he is traveling on non-official business,” and Pruitt “frequently requested per diem lodging expenses in excess of the federal government’s established daily rate.”
These revelations follow a controversy in which Pruitt was caught billing the government $90,000 for first-class air travel. Pruitt insisted this, too, was a security measure, because someone in the economy seats might try to beat him up.
It was subsequently revealed that among the “security incidents” prompting all of this excessive taxpayer spending was a passenger who hurt Pruitt’s feelings by yelling, “You’re fucking up the environment!”
Pruitt’s lavish government spending on his own comfort is a pattern.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign after spending roughly $1 million on military and charter flights. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke allegedly used a military jet to go to a Republican fundraiser, and even took a $40,000 helicopter ride with money designated for fighting wildfires.
Trump has assembled one of the richest Cabinets in American history. The sum total of all his original Cabinet members’ wealth was greater than that of the bottom 33 percent of U.S. households combined. They ought to have been more than capable of paying their own way when going about their business.
And yet somehow, they can’t even take their families on vacation without the taxpayers getting stuck with a bill.