Trump Claimed EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Spent More On Security Because Of Death Threats. But He May Not Have Received Any

President Donald Trump's suggestion that EPA chief Scott Pruitt has faced death threats over his "bold actions" at the agency may not be as straightforward as it seems.

Despite Trump's insistence that Pruitt is being hounded over his policies, the EPA seems unsure whether or not its embattled chief has indeed received death threats.

Tweeting on Saturday, Trump wrote: "While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA."

"Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!" he added.

But Trump's assertion appears to be on shaky ground, with a senior investigative reporter at BuzzFeed announcing he had filed a freedom of information request with the EPA to ascertain how many death threats Pruitt had received during his tenure. The answer, he claims, is none.

The president's tweet came as Pruitt faced questions over the amount of money he spends on his security detail, which is comprised of 19 agents and at least 19 vehicles, CNN reported, with previous reports from the network suggesting Pruitt's security team cost around $2 million per year.

Pruitt's security detail is estimated to be around three times the size of that of his predecessor, while another ex-EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman told CNN she walked to work alone after 9/11.

But EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox insisted on Friday that an "unprecedented" number of death threats against Pruitt was the reason behind the cost of his security.

BuzzFeed journalist Jason Leopold responded to Trump's tweet about death threats against Pruitt and to queries about his original tweet, saying: "I specifically asked for records about death threats against Pruitt. Still, would not be the first time EPA lied to me about whether certain records exist."

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.