May 14, 2018

Scott Pruitt asked for 24/7 security detail on his first day

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt. Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had demanded and received around-the-clock armed security protection since his first day on the job, the agency’s inspector general disclosed in a letter Monday to congressional lawmakers.

The details: Inspector General Arthur Elkins, responding to an inquiry about Pruitt’s security, said the EPA head initiated the protection plan himself. The watchdog, which is responsible for probing threats made against agency employees, added that it “played no role in this decision.”

Flashback: EPA officials and Pruitt have repeatedly said the administrator has been experiencing a number of threats in order to justify stepping up his security measures. But this new revelation apparently undermines that main argument. Pruitt, facing a variety of other inquiries, also blamed security concerns for his pricey travel choices.

Go deeper: Inside Scott Pruitt's "miserable" bunker.

Go deeper

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health