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10 April 2018, 08:03 | Damon Campbell
Chief of staff advised a resistant Trump to fire EPA Chief Scott Pruitt
CNN also reported that Trump recently had floated replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who has earned Trump's ire for recusing himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation past year - with the scandal-ridden Pruitt. Furthermore, when traveling, Pruitt has infamously sought first class airline tickets in order to avoid the supposed security concerns of flying coach, but only when taxpayers were footing the bill: the AP has learned that Pruitt flew coach on personal trips he had to pay for the tickets himself.
Then during a trip to Italy in June, Pruitt was accompanied by nine aides and a security detail that cost more than $120,000.
"Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and his family", EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement when asked about Pruitt's security costs.
Two other Republicans who appeared on the Sunday shows were more willing to give Pruitt a pass. "After all, we don't know the extent of the recommendations made by Mr. Pruitt's security team, but on policy grounds alone I think Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to head the EPA". Trump has praised Pruitt's relentless efforts to scrap, delay or rewrite Obama-era environmental regulations. CNN also reported that the President continued to defend Pruitt because he has considered him as a replacement for another top official Trump has criticized: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The size of Pruitt's security is unprecedented.
The cost of Scott Pruitt's full-time, 20-member security detail is over three times that of his predecessor Gina McCarthy's part-time detail.
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That increase in spending came as the Trump administration shared plans for cutting the EPA's budget by about 30%, including major cuts to the agency's enforcement work and staffing and the elimination of some programs. When security official Eric Weese complained about Pruitt's use of motorcade sirens to bypass normal DC traffic, he was demoted. Multiple agents also accompanied Pruitt to a baseball game at the University of Kentucky and at his house outside Tulsa, during which no official EPA events were scheduled.
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.
Last year, the EPA spent almost $9,000 on increased counter-surveillance precautions for Pruitt, including hiring a private contractor to sweep his office for hidden listening devices and installing sophisticated biometric locks for the doors.
'Well, that's going to be up to the president, ' he answered.
Pruitt is also under fire for frequent exceptional air travel and also for purchasing costly items for his office, for example a soundproof telephone booth. But Pruitt got an ornate refurbished desk comparable in grandeur to the one in the Oval Office.
But President Donald Trump doesn't seem a bit concerned about the sinking reputation of his EPA chief.
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