Scott Pruitt is battling a string of ethical scandals involving hefty taxpayer-funded traveling, accommodation and security
Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News
Scott Pruitt apparently has a penchant for all things bulletproof.
The beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency chief wasn’t happy with his official car last year, so he upgraded it to a more expensive and beefier vehicle complete with bullet-resistant seat covers, according to federal records.
Previous EPA administrators have generally traveled in Chevrolet Tahoes, and Pruitt was supposed to do the same when he joined the Trump administration last February.
But work orders from May 2 show that Pruitt’s staff scrapped the Tahoe in favor of a larger, newer and pricier Chevy Suburban.
The work orders also reveal that Pruitt’s staff asked for custom modified bucket seats with bullet-resistant covers, Wi-Fi and GPS navigation systems. The car’s lease cost $10,200 for the first year, according to records.
An ex-EPA staffer told The Washington Post that Pruitt wanted the vehicle upgrade because other Trump Cabinet officials travel in similar cars.
An EPA spokesman did not return a request for comment on why Pruitt needed bulletproof seat covers.
Pruitt is battling a string of ethical scandals involving hefty taxpayer-funded traveling, accommodation and security.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Pruitt requested $70,000 worth of bulletproof furniture for his office. The request was denied.
Members of Pruitt’s security detail, meanwhile, wear bulletproof vests, according to records.
Defenders of Pruitt claim he needs the beefed-up security measures because he’s facing an “unprecedented” number of threats.
But Senate Democrats who had reviewed an internal report outlining the threats said earlier this month they found none of them credible or serious enough to warrant the outsized security spending.
On Monday, an EPA watchdog determined that Pruitt had violated federal spending rules by installing a soundproof phone booth in his office worth $43,000.
Both Republicans and Democrats have called for Pruitt’s ouster in response to the controversies.
But President Donald Trump has stood by Pruitt, saying that he is doing a “great” job under “siege.”