Interior deputy secretary nominee David Bernhardt pushed back Thursday against Democrats' claims that scientists at the Interior Department are under attack by a hostile administration that opposes science.

"I am certain that scientists at the Department of Interior are not under attack," Bernhardt said in answering questions at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing.

He was responding to questions by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who asked him to pledge his support to the agency's endangered species and environmental scientists if confirmed.

"Never thought we would have a march for science ... a march for facts. It's a strange world that we are in right now," Stabenow said. "But the reality is that scientists and science are under attack throughout the administration."