Sam Clovis, a former campaign aide to Donald Trump, is leaving the U.S. Department of Agriculture after serving as the USDA’s liaison to the White House, Politico reported.
Clovis had been a Trump campaign co-chairman and policy adviser. Trump nominated him for USDA undersecretary for research, education, and economics, but Clovis withdrew before the Senate Agriculture Committee could hold a hearing, the report noted.
Senate Democrats and environmental advocates took aim at Clovis over skepticism about climate science, and his past comments about race and gender, while critics said that he had no scientific credentials for a post that would be the USDA’s top scientist, Politico reported.
He had been providing guidance at the National Resources Conservation Service, the report said.
“Dr. Clovis was one of the first people through the door at USDA in January 2017, and we are grateful for his time here. He is a good man and a patriot who for decades has served his country admirably. While we are sad Dr. Clovis is leaving USDA, we wish him well on his future endeavors back home in Iowa,” a USDA spokesman said, Politico reported.
Sources had told CNN at the time of Clovis’ withdrawal that his nomination was endangered over his ties to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. At that time, questions had risen over Clovis’ relationship with George Papadopoulos, the former Trump foreign policy adviser who admitted to making a false statement to the FBI about interactions with Russian officials.
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