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Trey Gowdy says Scott Pruitt needs thicker skin

Updated 11:56 AM ET, Mon April 16, 2018

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is currently investigating Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, had some harsh words for Pruitt's controversial travel habits.

"If you want to avoid people on the plane, sit in the last seat, not the first seat," the South Carolina Republican said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

"I would be shocked if that many people knew who Scott Pruitt was. So the notion that I have to fly first class because I don't want people to be mean to me, you need to go into another line of work if you don't want people to be mean to you, like maybe a monk where you don't come in contact with anyone," Gowdy said.

Pruitt has defended his use of first-class travel by saying it was for security purposes. In February, he cited the "toxic environment" in politics and implying he was less likely to face threats in a first-class crowd.

The investigation by Gowdy, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, has continued after reports surfaced that Pruitt had been renting a room in Washington, DC, for below market price from a family with ties to an energy lobbyist.

In addition, multiple EPA officials who raised concerns over Pruitt's spending at EPA have been sidelined or demoted, CNN reported.

Gowdy on Friday sent a letter to Pruitt requesting more documents relating to his travel and his controversial housing situation. The letter also requests interviews with five EPA officials.

When asked about the investigation, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said: "We have responded to Chairman Gowdy's inquiries and we will continue to work with him."


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