Already under fire for spending $25,000 on a soundproof phone booth, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt also reportedly spent $9,000 to sweep his Washington office for bugs and to install biometric locks.
Citing sources at the agency, the Associated Press reported the expenditures Tuesday afternoon.
In April, the EPA spent about $3,000 on a sweep of Mr. Pruitt’s office for hidden listening devices. The agency also spent nearly $6,000 to install biometric locks that can be opened by fingerprint.
The news comes as critics have pounced on the administrator — who served as the attorney general of Oklahoma before joining the Trump administration — for taking the unprecedented step of installing a soundproof phone booth in his office.
EPA officials defended the purchases, saying Mr. Pruitt has faced more threats than any of his predecessors.
“Administrator Pruitt has received an unprecedented amount of threats against him and while The Associated Press attempts to trivialize his safety, there is nothing nefarious about security decisions made by EPA’s protective service detail,” EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox told the outlet.
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