EPA Chief Scott Pruitt received several death threats during the first few months of his tenure at the agency, according to a CBS News Wednesday report.
CBS News obtained an August 2017 report from the EPA’s office of inspector general, highlighting at least 13 threats Pruitt received from February 2017 to August 2017. The threats range in severity, but many of them were serious enough to warrant rigorous investigations.
Investigators flagged one tweet that stated: “Pruitt, I’m gonna find you and put a bullet between your eyes. Don’t think I’m joking. I’m planning this.” Investigators determined the threat came from someone living in India. The investigation is ongoing.
These types of threats were a common occurrence, the report notes.
For instance, another person mailed a postcard to Pruitt telling him to “get out while you still can, Scott, you are evil incarnate you ignorant fuck.” An investigation was unable to determine who sent the message. The case was not presented to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
Some of the threats were from people who were not deemed a direct threat to EPA staff but were otherwise armed.
The subject of one investigation sent a potentially threatening postcard to the Pruitt. The person was wearing two handguns on his waist while investigators were interviewing him at his residence. United States Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the man.
One investigation was conducted into threats directed at Pruitt’s daughter, who was receiving threats on her Facebook account. The threats were directed toward her father and state, “I hope your father dies soon, suffering as your mother watches in horror for hours on end.” This investigation is ongoing.
CBS’ report also notes two threats to former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who served during former President Barack Obama’s final term in office.
She received a potentially threatening email, which stated the following in subject line: “‘Ban glyphosate or die you haggard nazi bitch’ DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE.” (Glyphosate is a herbicide many environmentalist believe causes cancer.) The person who sent the email had an SK-47 assault rifle standing in the corner of the room in the house while investigators were interviewing the subject.
The report comes after Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse publicized an internal EPA assessment questioning the severity of threats Pruitt has faced. Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso was incensed his colleagues published “sensitive” information about Pruitt’s security detail.
“I am deeply troubled that members of the committee would publicly release law enforcement sensitive information regarding the safety and security of a Cabinet member and his family,” Barrasso said of Whitehouse and Carper. Both of whom are members on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees the EPA. “This letter selectively quotes non-public documents.”
Internal EPA records question the assertion Pruitt has faced an “unprecedented” number of death threats and the agency “has identified specific, ongoing threats associated with the administrator’s air travel,” the two Democrats wrote in an April 10 memo to Barrasso.
Pruitt’s 20-member full time security detail “approached $3 million when pay is added in travel expenses,” The AP reported on April 7 EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox defended the former Oklahoma AG and said Pruitt faced “unprecedented” threats.
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