Protesters hold up 'fire him' signs behind Pruitt during hearing

Protesters hold up 'fire him' signs behind Pruitt during hearing

Protesters attending a Senate hearing Wednesday on the Environmental Protect Agency's (EPA) 2019 budget request held signs behind embattled EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPruitt's office discussed hiring friend of his landlord: report Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama's water rule Overnight Energy: OPEC strikes deal to boost crude production | Pruitt sent one work email outside EPA in first 10 months | Perry, oil execs head to gas conference MORE urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Fallon responds to Trump: I'll donate to pro-immigrant nonprofit in his name South Carolina GOP candidate expected to make full recovery after car accident Official: US to present North Korea with timeline, 'specific asks' MORE to "fire him" over recent scandals.

Three protesters could be seen on C-SPAN cameras holding the signs early Wednesday morning behind Pruitt, coming in to view when he answered questions from senators about his spending at the top environmental watchdog agency.

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At some point, the protesters holding the signs appeared to walk out or removed the signs, as they could no longer be seen behind Pruitt minutes later into his testimony.

Pruitt has weathered a deluge of negative press coverage in recent weeks, including reports that he directed aides to come up with "official" reasons to travel to preferred travel destinations when he joined EPA and rented a condo from the wife of a top energy lobbyist.

Democrats have called on Trump to fire Pruitt over the scandals, which they have challenged run counter to Trump's campaign promise to "drain the swamp" of government corruption in Washington.

During Wednesday's hearing, Pruitt was lectured by Democrats, including Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Senators 'deeply troubled' military lawyers being used for immigration cases Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE (Vt.), about his spending habits at the EPA as lawmakers discussed the agency's 2019 budget request.

“Forget about your own ego and your first-class travel and your special phone booths and all these things that just make you a laughingstock, and your agency a laughingstock," Leahy told Pruitt.