GAO says EPA violated spending law on Pruitt's privacy booth

WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal government watchdog says the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal spending laws when purchasing a $43,000 soundproof privacy booth for Administrator Scott Pruitt's office.

The Government Accountability Office issued its findings Monday in a letter to Senate Democrats who had requested a review of Pruitt's spending.

GAO determined that EPA's purchase of the booth violated federal law prohibiting agencies from spending more than $5,000 to make improvements to the offices of presidential appointees without informing Congress.

EPA has said Pruitt needed the privacy booth to make secure phone calls with President Donald Trump and others without fear of eavesdropping. The privacy booth is among several unusual security precautions taken by Pruitt that are now under scrutiny. He's had his office swept for secret listening devices and installed biometric locks.