A recent increase in security for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is due to “unprecedented” death threats against him and his family, Pruitt told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday.
Pruitt currently has an 18-member security detail guarding him around the clock. That team may be augmented by another dozen members costing an additional $2 million a year, according to The Washington Examiner.
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“The level of protection is dictated by the level of threat,” Pruitt told Bloomberg.
“The quantity and the volume — as well as the type — of threats are different,” Pruitt said. “What’s really disappointing to me as it’s not just me — it’s family.”
With the added security, Pruitt will be protected by the largest security force ever for his position, The Washington Examiner reports.
Pruitt’s comments come after media reports that he was participating in a “potential waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars” by beefing up his security while preparing to cut other parts of the EPA’s budget.
A senior government security official confirmed to Bloomberg that Pruitt had been receiving threats on social media and through letters and packages delivered to his house.
“I seek to engage in these decisions with civility and thoughtful discussion and meaningful discussion, and it is unfortunate, I think, at times perhaps it devolves into something that is much different,” Pruitt told Bloomberg. “Serious things take place that dictate a response.”