Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Sunday mocked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s insistence on traveling first-class due to security concerns, saying he should consider becoming a monk if he doesn’t want people to be mean to him.
.@TGowdySC on reports of Scott Pruitt’s spending: “The notion that I’ve got to fly first class because I don’t want people to be mean to me, you need to go into another line of work if you don’t want people to be mean to you. Like maybe a Monk,” pic.twitter.com/txcMxHEvtH
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) April 15, 2018
“If you sit first class, you’re guaranteed to come into contact with everybody else on the plane. If you really want to avoid everybody on the plane, sit in the last seat, not the first seat,” Gowdy told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I’d be shocked if that many people knew who Scott Pruitt was, so the notion that I’ve got to fly first class because I don’t want people to be mean to me, you need to go into another line of work if you don’t want people to be mean to you. Like maybe a monk,” he continued. Pruitt has been embroiled in a series of controversies involving excessive spending.
The EPA confirmed last month that Pruitt’s security detail has accompanied him in first class on past flights.
“These circumstances include, but are not limited to, situations when the ‘[use] of coach-class accommodations would endanger [one’s] life or Government property’ or an agent on protective detail is ‘accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class accommodations,'” EPA Associate Administrator Troy Lyons wrote in a letter to Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Protective Service Detail has identified specific, ongoing threats associated with the Administrator’s air travel and, therefore, shifted his class based on certain security protocols that require him to be near the front of the plane,” the letter said. “This location allows the Administrator’s security agents to expeditiously exit with him upon the occurrence of a threat.”
The Hill notes,
Earlier in the year, Pruitt said he traveled first-class because of security concerns, citing the tense political environment.
Official documents released by the EPA last month revealed that Pruitt’s security detail often adds significant costs to his travel. During a trip to Italy and the Vatican last June, Pruitt’s security cost taxpayers over $30,000, according to the travel vouchers.