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 PruittEPA looks to other statutes to expand scope of coming 'secret science' rule EPA ordered to reconsider New York efforts to tame downwind pollution OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten smog standards amid pressure from green groups | Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects| Russian mining giant reports another fuel spill in Arctic MORE urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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 Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism 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.