What is Scott Pruitt so afraid of?
If you’ve been watching the Environmental Protection Agency lately, you might have noticed some strange things afoot. For starters, it’s not really into “environmental protection” these days, according to its own enforcement data.
But among the things the agency is spending money on are some, ah, unusual security measures for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Let us review just a few of them:
- Pruitt is the first EPA administrator to require a 24-hour armed security team.
- He spent nearly $9,000 to have his office swept for hidden listening devices and install biometric locks.
- He also spent about $25,000 for a soundproof phone booth in his office — a decision that the EPA inspector general is investigating. (The EPA inspector general is also investigating Pruitt’s private flight habit and his frequent travel to Oklahoma.)
- EPA employees are required to have an escort to enter Pruitt’s office. Sometimes, they are instructed not to take notes during meetings with Pruitt.
- The EPA had signed an unusual $120,000 contract with Definers Public Affairs, a communications firm run by influential Republicans that helps its clients “influence media narratives.” After Mother Jones broke the news, the company quickly ended the contract. Pruitt has multiple connections to Definers.
- A lawyer linked to Definers filed requests to see emails from EPA employees who challenged Scott Pruitt, the New York Times reported, ostensibly to look for dirt. One employee called it a “witch hunt.”
It’s almost like he’s afraid of journalists.