After moving out of the Capitol Hill condo apartment he rented for $50 a night last summer, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears to not have maintained a Washington residence for a month, instead traveling extensively for work and remaining for weeks at his Tulsa, Okla., home.
Pruitt's decision not to maintain a fixed address in the city where he was leading a major federal agency underscores how he has operated during his tenure — crisscrossing the country and parts of the world to tout the president's agenda but regularly returning to Oklahoma, often at taxpayer expense.
Pruitt ended his housing arrangement with lobbyist Vicki Hart on Aug. 4. At that point, he already had embarked on a more than weeklong trip across five states to visit with elected officials and farmers about the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda, with a weekend at home in Tulsa along the way.
He then took an extended vacation, according to agency records, during which time officials said that he underwent knee surgery and recuperated at home while receiving staff briefings. After another round of meetings in Oklahoma and a visit to Texas to survey the damage from Hurricane Harvey, Pruitt returned to EPA headquarters Sept. 5, according to his public calendars. Members of his round-the-clock security detail remained with him while he was away from Washington.
While the EPA has declined to disclose when the administrator began renting his second Washington apartment, the new building was under construction much of the summer, and no residents moved into the complex before Aug. 29, according to the property.
Multiple agency employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Pruitt had instructed his staff to arrange an extensive travel schedule during early August.
A statement Wednesday from EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox noted: "The administrator had knee surgery in Tulsa and remained there for recovery. During that time he had a number of staff briefings."