As usual, John Oliver didn’t mince words on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight in blasting his latest target: Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt.
Pruitt has been under scrutiny for several questionable expenditures, including his swollen security detail blowing through overtime budgets and at times diverting officers away from investigating environmental crimes. Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that is more than three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent.
Nearly 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. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Those schedules show multiple EPA security agents accompanied Pruitt on a family vacation to California that featured a day at Disneyland and a New Year’s Day football game, where his home state Oklahoma Sooners were playing in the Rose Bowl. Multiple agents also accompanied Pruitt to a baseball game at the University of Kentucky and at his house outside Tulsa, during which no official EPA events were scheduled.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox has cited “unprecedented” threats against Pruitt and his family as justification for extraordinary security expenses such as first-class airfare to keep him separate from most passengers — a perk generally not available to federal employees.
But Oliver wasn’t having any of it on his HBO show Sunday night.
“I’m a little torn on this one,” Oliver said. “Because on the one hand, that does seem wasteful. But on the other hand, if anyone needs security at Disneyland, it’s Scott Pruitt — a man who even Mickey and Minnie Mouse would tell to go f— himself: ‘Space Mountain is going to be under water in 10 years, you son of a bitch!'”
Oliver also went on to point out that Pruitt’s LinkedIn page was still describing him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”