News & Politics

Scott Pruitt Is the Most Baller Trump Appointee

Sizing up the stacks? Photograph by ANSA/ GIORGIO BENVENUTI via AP.

Scott Pruitt may not be the greatest at running the Environmental Protection Agency, but he is really, really good at spending money. Any Zinke, Perry, or Mnuchin can pull off first-class flights. But it took a Pruitt to enrage the nation with spending so wild—the $43,000 soundproof phone booth, the buffed-up security detail, the generous salary bumps, etc.—that you couldn’t not pay attention. Damn, I find myself thinking. I wish I could waste money like Scott Pruitt. I know I’m not alone.

Unlike some of his Trump colleagues, Pruitt didn’t come into the job with billions. In Vanity Fair’s wealth ranking of Trumpworld, he was lumped with Reince Preibus (and the rest of America?) and labeled “too poor to rank.” He’s previously cited a middle-class upbringing. But now he gets to prove himself to his gold-loving boss and he’s crushing it. Don’t believe me? Take a look at our comprehensive list of Pruitt’s wildin’ out.

  • Security around the clock. Previous EPA chiefs have only gotten “door-to-door” security, but this guy has the agency spending $3 million a year on a 20-member detail, getting protection even at DISNEYLAND.
  • His phone booth was over the office-improvement budget by literally $38,000 because Scott. Must. Have. Privacy. Even Ben Carson couldn’t spend that much on his office refurnishing.
  • Pruitt is so bougie, he almost always flies first class (yes, Fergie-glamorous up in the sky). In just his first year, he spent over $105,000 for his coach-aversion—and an additional $58 large on charter and military flights.
  • If only the people let Scott be Scott. He offered to sacrifice those first-class tickets for a private jet at a mere $100,000 a month, but I guess the agency isn’t ready for that. Yet.
  • Pruitt did get away with one private flight from Denver to Durango, Colorado at $5,719. Yes. One flight, under an hour long, within the same state, and he still managed to spend over $5K.
  • He’s not all cocky spending, though: He saved the agency beaucoup bucks with his cushy $50/night Capitol Hill condo. Thank you Vicki Hart for helping the agency save money. Here’s a completely unrelated approved pipeline for your husband’s client.
  • Oh, and when he moved out, he asked his employee to find him a spot, saving the agency his precious time. Don’t say he never did nothing for ya.
  • How else would he spend the budget, than by repaying that same employee with a $28,130 salary increase? For good measure, he also gave a different employee a $56,765 bump, because, fairness.
  • Can we let him work? He needed $70,000 to replace two desks in his office, but apparently we don’t care about quality. He wanted one of those desks to be bulletproof, but apparently we don’t care about safety. Pruitt requires state-of-the-art workspaces, but he had to settle for a maple wood standing desk and a Resolute-like desk with “decorative woodworking” that was refurbished for just $2,075, according to the Times.
  • My man Scott, he lives for the fame. He can’t be forced to wait in traffic, especially when he’s got a tight rez at Le Dip. Sirens it is, boys.
  • He’s also all about the whip. Pruitt tried to get a Bruce Wayne-like bulletproof sports car with special tires that continue to work after being shot at. When that was rejected, he still got the agency to give him a bigger, more expensive SUV that he got customized with bullet-resistant seat covers. He will NOT risk getting shot.
  • Like any true baller, Pruitt travels with an entourage. After sidelining an EPA employee who tried to curtail him, Pruitt named Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta (a Secret Service vet who brags about guns, women, and lux watches) as his head of his security. There’s no one better to be watching Pruitt’s back and his budget. Can anyone else hear “Versace” in the background?
  • His spending habits don’t shy away from borders, either. When Pruitt goes international, he goes full-on Real Housewives extravagance: A splurge trip to Rome last summer for “work” cost $120,000, and while on the way to Morocco in December, he made a pit stop in Paris for shits and giggles, sleeping in style at fancy hotels. (He conveniently “missed” a connecting flight…we see you, bro.) What did he do in Morocco? We might never know, since much of his public schedule has been under wraps—he can’t just tell people he was getting bottle service at clubs in Marrakech. Discretion = class.
  • Speaking of discretion, this absolute boss does not boast. He might flaunt, but you won’t hear about it because he knows how to keep a secret, which is why the EPA paid almost $9,000 for new high-tech locks and a bug-sweep of the office.
  • Pruitt is on a roll, and he can’t be stopped. Or, at least employees can try to stop him…and risk losing their jobs.


Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.