Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

WaPo: Pruitt indulges in first-class travel on taxpayers' dime

WaPo: Pruitt indulges in first-class travel on taxpayers' dime

One trip to Rome for Pruitt and his entourage of aides, which included a ride from a White House event in Cincinnati to NY in a military jet, cost at least $90,000, excluding the cost of his security detail's 24/7 support.

The White House is proposing to cut spending on the Environmental Protection Agency by about a quarter from recent levels, to $6.15 billion, while scrapping an array of programs that it says have outlived their usefulness.

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.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on the travel decisions of administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt's ticket cost six times as much as his aides.

Expensive taste in airline seats is not the only perk taxpayers lavish upon Pruitt. CBS News' Julianna Goldman ‏reported later Tuesday that the outlet had learned Pruitt took an expensive Emirates business class flight - the ticket was at least $7,000, Goldman said - from Milan to Washington last June, part of $43,000 spent on travel for the trip.

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Pruitt's penchant for treating himself is nothing new. A similar flight on coach could cost as little as $293.

Pruitt, like his boss Trump, is also fond of charging taxpayers to shuttle him to and from far-flung locations for weekend getaways. At the request of Democrats, the EPA's inspector general is investigating the cost of Pruitt's travel - including several first-class trips to his home state of Oklahoma - and his security detail. In July 2017, Pruitt "spent almost half the spring months taking extended weekend trips to and from his home state of Oklahoma, paid for mostly by taxpayers".

Prior to these revelations, Trump's Cabinet had already racked up more than $1 million in luxury travel expenses.

Several other members of the Trump administration have come under fire over their fondness for expensive flights, including former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, who resigned in September over his use of private jets and military planes.

There is no word as to whether Pruitt will follow in Price's footsteps, and step down in disgrace.

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