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 PruittOvernight Energy: Watchdog opens investigation into Interior chief | Judge halts Pruitt truck pollution rule decision | Winners, losers in EPA, Interior spending bill amendments Sanders endures press grilling over Russia Court blocks EPA policy against enforcing truck pollution rule MORE urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin 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 LeahySenate Dems protest vote on controversial court pick Budget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending Kavanaugh paper chase heats up 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.