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Literal Swamp Creatures Showed Up to a Hearing for Trump's Latest Cabinet Pick

They came by to troll David Bernhardt, a former big oil lobbyist nominated to run the Department of the Interior.

by River Donaghey
Mar 29 2019, 4:22pm

Photo by Ken Cedeno/Greenpeace

Trump's Interior Secretary nominee David Bernhardt had some, uh, surprise guests during his confirmation hearing on Thursday: a couple of honest-to-god Swamp Creatures.

That doesn't mean Shape of Water star Doug Jones is taking an interest in beltway politics or whatever. The pair of mutant sea beings were actually Greenpeace activists, there to protest Trump's pick, the Hill reports—and the photos are, as one would expect, a goddamn masterpiece.

This is somehow an even better (or at least considerably weirder) troll than when the Monopoly Man showed up at the Equifax hearing. Please, behold:

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Ken Cedeno/Greenpeace
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Ken Cedeno/Greenpeace
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Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"David Bernhardt heading the Interior Department would be a dream come true for fossil fuel companies, but a nightmare for the American people," Janet Redman, Greenpeace USA's Climate and Energy Campaign Director, said in a statement. "If ethical violations alone don’t disqualify him from holding this position, his record of selling out public lands and waters to his industry buddies should."

The two protestors in Creature from the Black Lagoon-style masks were reportedly escorted out of the hearing after lurking behind Bernhardt for about two hours.

One of the activists, Irene Kim, told Bloomberg News in an interview that their protest wasn't about disruption—they just wanted to "bring in absurdity" to what is yet another absurd Trump nomination. Bernhardt is a former big oil lobbyist who, as Democrats argued at his hearing on Thursday, would carry glaring conflicts of interest into his new role. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, oil execs are "almost giddy" at the prospect of how much sway they'll have over federal policy if he's sworn in.

"David Bernhardt is one of us. He's down here in the muck every day advocating for the dirty fossil fuels we swamp monsters love," Kim said in a statement. "I wanted to be at his shining moment to make sure he won't forget where he came from."

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