Pruitt spent $30,000 on security alone for Vatican trip

The details behind U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spendy Italian tour last June continue to shock: According to newly released records, the EPA spent more than $30,000 for Pruitt’s security entourage, just a portion of the trip’s staggering $120,000 total. The agency released the information in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the Environmental Integrity Project. “That’s a lot of money for Mr. Pruitt to tour the Vatican, pose for photos, and tell his European counterparts that global warming doesn’t matter,” said Eric Schaeffer, director of the EIP. The trip's purpose was to represent the United States at the annual meeting of G-7 Environment Ministers in Bologna—but Pruitt cut the visit short to return (via business class) to a self-congratulatory Trump gathering that made headlines as his "Dear Leader" meeting. The controversy around Pruitt’s luxury spending habits—amid his proposed deep budget cuts at the EPA—have drawn criticism across the aisle. Pruitt responded by claiming security threats required first-class flights. (Because the plane’s safer in the front?) But it’s not just a Pruitt problem. Overspending has hit all corners of the administration, including House of Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s $31,000 dining set and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s $75,000 office doors.

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