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Scott Pruitt’s connecting flight to Morocco was delayed due to weapons and other gear

EPA’s former security chief revealed that Scott Pruitt’s staff was carrying weapons and other gear when traveling to Morocco. Their flight was delayed due to security measures in Paris.

EPA's chief Scott Pruitt./Ph. DR
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During his December trip to Morocco, Environmental Protection Agency’s chief Scott Pruitt and his staff missed a connecting flight in Paris due to weapons and other gear, reveals the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The recent revelations suggest that Pruitt spent 24 hours in Paris after his staff had problems «transferring the weapons between planes in time», former security chief Pasquale Perrotta told congressional staffers last week.

In a different account, EPA explained that Pruitt’s flight was delayed due to bad weather and that his «departure from Washington was affected by the snow». On the other hand, Associated Press revealed that Pruitt «could have made a connecting flight and a reserved back-up flight to Morocco if not for the complications over the security team’s guns and gear».

Scott Pruitt has been at the heart of a scandal in the United States for his lavish expenses and connection to gas lobbyists. Senators at the Congress have demanded the EPA’s general inspector look into his activities, including his latest trip to Morocco.

Transferring weapons 

In more detail, the same source indicates that Pruitt was expected to fly December the 10th to Rabat through a transitional flight from Paris. Snowstorms in Washington have delayed the Republican’s flight to Charles de Gaulle by two hours.

Pruitt’s security staff was carrying weapons and other gear, transported in the «cargo hold» of the plane, the committee aids told AP. The staff did not have time to transfer the equipment to the connecting flight to Rabat which caused the delay.

Scott Pruitt had a backup flight from Paris to Casablanca but it was not used as the «Moroccan authorities had approved the weapons and other security gear only through Rabat», says the same source.

EPA’s chief has been criticized for the expenses of his Morocco trip, which amounted $100,000 according to previous reports. His premium-class airline ticket cost $16,164 while his stay at Sofitel in Paris cost for the night $494, including the hotel expenses in Rabat due to a no-show.

Investigating Pruitt's activities

Scott Pruitt’s position as head of the American Environmental agency is in jeopardy as many reports investigating his worrying ethical lapses have emerged. Last week, investigations suggested that an American lobbyist has arranged Pruitt’s controversial visit to Morocco.

First revealed by French-language online newspaper Le Desk, the four-day trip to the Kingdom was scheduled by Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist and a longtime friend of Pruitt who signed later a $40,000 contract with the Moroccan Embassy in Washington.

Reported before by Yabiladi, Pruitt was questioned by senators at the Congress for promoting liquefied gas imports in Morocco. Responding to critics, he replied stating that it is the Moroccan embassy in Washington invited him for that purpose.

In a communiqué sent to Yabiladi earlier this month, the embassy denied the allegations and assured that the invitation Pruitt received to visit Morocco was mainly to promote sustainable development.

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