Under fire for travel expenses, Pruitt cancels trip to Israel

February 18, 2018

By Juliet Eilperin and Ruth Eglash –

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has canceled a nearly week-long trip to Israel, agency officials confirmed Sunday.

Pruitt, who had been scheduled to leave this weekend for an extensive tour of the Mideast ally, has come under fire over the past week for the cost of his domestic and international travel. In May, the head of Pruitt’s security detail recommended he travel either business or first class whenever possible to avoid public confrontations with critics.

“We decided to postpone; the administrator looks forward to going in the future,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in an email Sunday. She did not provide a reason for the postponement.

Pruitt was to arrive in Israel on Sunday and would have stayed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem from the time of his arrival until Thursday, according to people in Israel who were briefed on his plans. Support staff from the U.S. Embassy, which is located in Tel Aviv, were supposed to accompany him on his trip, standard protocol for any visiting cabinet members.

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