EPA chief Scott Pruitt has spent millions on security, travel

Asked if Trump had confidence in Pruitt White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded'The president thinks that he's done a good job particularly on the deregulation front

"Any suggestion that Administrator Pruitt's short-term rental of one of its bedrooms in 2017 resulted in undue influence for the firm or its clients with business before the EPA is simply false", Hart said. Top administration officials are deeply skeptical of Pruitt's explanation over how two close aides secured raises worth tens of thousands of dollars over the White House's objection, according to people familiar with the matter. Losing Pruitt would rob the Trump administration of an effective operator who has done more than most to make good on the President's campaign promises.

When the White House refused the request, Pruitt's agency found a way around Trump, using an obscure provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act that gave Pruitt direct control over the staffers' salaries.

Scott Pruitt arrives to meet with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, December 7, 2016.

New details in the Kentucky-born Pruitt's expansive spending for security and travel emerged from agency sources and documents reviewed by The Associated Press. The previous Obama era EPA administrator somehow managed to get by with only part-time security.

Trump, Slate wrote, should have been able to tell "Pruitt would be an ethical nightmare" from the start.

Perrotta's biography, on the website of his company, Sequoia Security Group, says that during his earlier stint with the Secret Service he worked with the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian finance police.

In recent days, Trump has appeared determined to do things his own way, and he has conducted a purge of people in his administration who had clashed with him, including Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser whose last day at the White House was Friday.

Upon taking office at the EPA, Pruitt wasted little time in carrying out the agenda set out for him by his corporate backers. "Hasn't been easy", Trump said Thursday on Air Force One.

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"I think he's done an incredible job".

Trump tweeted Friday that Pruitt is doing "a great job", but he also has said he would look into a number of controversies that have plagued Pruitt.

That came hours before yet another embarrassing revelation Friday afternoon, when Politico reported that the lobbyists who owned the condominium Pruitt paid $50 a month to rent had leased the space to him for only six weeks, and became frustrated when he declined for months to leave, eventually pushing him out and changing the locks. The EPA later reimbursed the property owners $2,460 for damages.

Almost three dozen EPA security and law enforcement agents were assigned to Pruitt, according to a summary of six weeks of weekly schedules obtained by Democratic Sen.

Even the EPA official also claimed there were valid concerns regarding Pruitt's basic safety, given general resistance into his roll-backs of Anti Pollution steps.

But the officer, Kevin Minoli, also stressed that his analysis was limited, and he did not scrutinize whether the rental deal violated other ethics rules requiring government employees to be impartial, or did he examine "whether the actual use of the space was consistent with the lease agreement". It's the latest sign that Democrats believe tying congressional Republicans to Trump could help them regain the majority in this fall's midterm elections and suggests that the GOP may be unable to remain largely silent on Pruitt. An official told the AP that the intense protection is necessary because Pruitt has attracted so many death threats, but there are no records of any investigations into threats against him and the agency provided none when the AP requested them.

Pruitt's counternarrative has been picked up in some conservative quarters.

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