"The Romans used to conquer the villages in the Mediterranean," he said. "They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."

"The EPA is out to get you and crucify you," Fleming said. "That's the message from one of President Obama's EPA appointees to our country's oil and natural gas companies."

The EPA official apologized after Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeMcCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control Parliamentarian threatens deadly blow to GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Okla.) repeated the comments on the Senate floor Wednesday night.

"I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words," he said. "It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws."