Scott Pruitt's Overworked Security Team Has Cost Taxpayers $3 Million

An ethics official for the Environmental Protection Agency wrote a memo that said EPA chief Scott Pruitt's $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo rental was fair

An administration official said Pruitt met with President Donald Trump on Friday morning, a week after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly advocated for Trump to fire him. He said, "Mr. Pruitt answered significantly more questions than any past EPA administrator has".

Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, have nearly universally turned against Pruitt, according to White House aides. "The president feels that the administrator has done a good job at EPA".

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt's security detail and travel arrangements cost around $3 million, according to sources cited by the Associated Press on Friday. Part of this is to make certain no environmental considerations stand in the way of building Trump's wall on the border with Mexico, if that ever happens.

Despite the growing ethical questions involving Pruitt - his $US50 ($NZ68.77)-a-night rental from a lobbyist past year, huge raises last month for two top advisers despite a lack of White House approval, and reports that employees who questioned him were transferred or dismissed - the president has continued to back one of his most favoured Cabinet members.

The CNN report, however, contradicts other news reports on the matter. The previous Obama era EPA administrator somehow managed to get by with only part-time security.

Eventually, Pruitt would like Trump's backing to be president.

In recent days, Trump has appeared determined to do things his own way, and he has conducted a purge of people in his administration who had clashed with him, including Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser whose last day at the White House was Friday. "Hasn't been easy", Trump told reporters Thursday on Air Force One as he returned from a trip to West Virginia. "I think he'll be fine".

Renting the condominium from the energy lobbyist has become the focal point of controversies surrounding Pruitt.

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But the officer, Kevin Minoli, also stressed that his analysis was limited, and he did not scrutinize whether the rental deal violated other ethics rules requiring government employees to be impartial, or did he examine "whether the actual use of the space was consistent with the lease agreement". But that official said in a report obtained by CNN that he was not given all of the facts when making that determination.

The prior head of Pruitt's security detail, Eric Weese, was demoted previous year after he refused Pruitt's demand to use the lights and sirens on his government-owned SUV to get him through Washington traffic to the airport and dinner reservations.

An EPA spokesperson responded to the Associated Press with a statement saying Pruitt has received "an unprecedented amount of threats against him and while the Associated Press attempts to trivialize his safety, there is nothing nefarious about security decisions made by EPA's Protective Service Detail".

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.

"Republicans in Congress need to end their complicity and finally take action to hold Pruitt and this administration accountable for their abuses", said Pelsoi, who added that the "health of our children" would continue to suffer if Pruitt remained in power and continued to advance an agenda that has given special interests "free rein.to pollute our communities".

Conservatives have rallied around Pruitt.

Kelly and Pruitt have clashed in the past.

Unlike the former EPA chief, Pruitt's security team has provided around-the-clock protection, even during family trips and sporting events.

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