WASHINGTON — A Republican-led congressional committee is demanding records related to premium-class flights taken by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt.

House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy issued a letter to Pruitt this week seeking an accounting of all flights taken by the EPA administrator over the last year and whether the ticket was coach, business or first class. Pruitt defended his use of premium-class airfare in media interviews earlier this month, saying security concerns were raised after unpleasant interactions with other passengers.

The South Carolina Republican’s letter sent Tuesday specifically cites the evolving explanations of EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox, who initially told reporters that Pruitt had a “blanket waiver” to fly first class before then saying separate waiver had been granted by ethics officials for each flight. Federal employees are typically supposed to fly coach, and travel rules such bar blanket waivers.

“We will respond to Chairman Gowdy through the proper channel,” Wilcox said Wednesday.

Pruitt, the former Republican attorney general of Oklahoma, has been under increasing scrutiny for his jet setting since his appointment by Trump last year. Records show Pruitt’s airfare is often several times more expensive than that of aides booked on the same flights.

Gowdy’s letter says the requested records are to be provided to his committee by March 6.

Pruitt said earlier this month he had some “incidents” on flights that necessitated his need for first-class seats. EPA has refused requests from The Associated Press to provide details of those incidents.

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