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EPA Head Scott Pruitt Used Taxpayer Money for First-Class Airfare and Luxury Hotel Stays, Washington Post Reports

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has used taxpayer funds to purchase first-class airfare and spend nights at luxury hotels more often than his predecessors, according to records first analyzed by The Washington Post. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. And last year, the EPA spent close to $25,000 to construct a secure phone booth for Pruitt, according to the Post. This isn’t the first time Pruitt’s spending at the EPA has been the subject of scrutiny. 38.907192
-77.036871 One trip to Rome for Pruitt and his entourage of aides, which included a ride from a White House event in Cincinnati to New York in a military jet, cost at least $90,000, excluding the cost of his security detail’s 24/7 support. And last month, the inspector general said it would be looking into agency spending for Pruitt’s security detail. As the Post notes, federal regulations say agencies can authorize first-class travel under “exceptional security circumstances.” Regulations permit first-class travel when using coach would endanger a traveler’s life or government property, when the traveler is part of a security detail accompanying someone traveling in first-class, or the traveler is a courier. The EPA’s inspector general expanded its probe into Pruitt’s travel last October. Records obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project and The Washington Post via the Freedom of Information Act show that the EPA often cited unspecified security concerns for flying first class. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. CNN has reached out to the EPA for comment. (Credit: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
According to the Post, Pruitt’s travel choices distinguish him from his predecessors in that he brings a larger group of aides with him on trips, he usually flies first or business class on international and domestic trips, and he often flies Delta Airlines even though the government has contracts with certain airlines on specific routes.