EPA chief Scott Pruitt on Tuesday told the New Hampshire Union Leader he flies first class and on military jets for his security following a report published over the weekend that scrutinized his travel during a two-week stretch on non-commercial flights in June that cost taxpayers at least $90,000.
"Unfortunately . . . we've had some incidents on travel dating back to when I first started serving in the March-April timeframe," Pruitt said.
"We live in a very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment," Pruitt said. "We've reached the point where there's not much civility in the marketplace and it's created, you know, it's created some issues and the [security] detail, the level of protection is determined by the level of threat."
The Washington Post dissected the following travel:
- $1,641.43 first-class ticket for a flight from D.C. to New York City on June 5.
- $36,068.50 flight on a military jet from Cincinnati to New York so Pruitt could make his flight to Rome for the G-7 climate meeting.
- $7,003.52 first-class round-trip flight from New York to Rome for a visit with the Pope, tours of the Vatican and to attend the G-7 climate meeting.
The $90,000 amount includes ticket costs for his aides and security personnel, who usually flew coach, according to the Post. Pruitt told the New Hampshire paper he was not involved in travel decisions.
"Those are all made by the [security] detail, the security assessment in addition to the chief of staff,” he said.
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