EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security detail cost about $3.5 million for his first year in office, more than twice what his predecessor spent in the final year of the Obama administration, according to spending summaries released today by EPA.
Pruitt’s security spending jumped as his protective detail roughly doubled in size to provide unprecedented 24/7 coverage and began flying alongside Pruitt in first class on domestic flights. Some lawmakers have recently questioned whether the extra spending was justified by the threats made against Pruitt.
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Salaries and travel costs totaled $3,489,981.67 between April 2017 and March 2018. The data was tabulated in quarterly increments. Pruitt took office in mid-February last year.
That’s nearly a 110 percent increase over security spending on his predecessor, Gina McCarthy, in 2016, according to the data. McCarthy’s security costs totaled $1,665,157.28 for the calendar year 2016.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox reiterated that Pruitt has faced “an unprecedented amount of death threats” and that EPA plans to post the costs of his security detail on a quarterly basis.
“Americans should all agree that members of the President’s cabinet should be kept safe from violent threats,” Wilcox said.