Sam Clovis withdraws his nomination as USDA’s chief scientist
President Trump’s embattled nominee for a top job at the Department of Agriculture withdrew his name for consideration.
Sam Clovis, the department’s current White House advisor, had been put forward as Agriculture’s chief scientist over his involvement in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, The Associated Press reported.
News of Clovis withdrawal comes as a letter emerged in which the former Iowa talk radio host acknowledged he doesn’t have a background in science.
Clovis was named as a possible Trump campaign adviser who knew ontime foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was speaking with who he thought were Kremlin-tied officials about Trump visiting Russia.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to misleading the FBI about those discussions when they interviewed him in January.
Clovis also penned a letter, obtained by the Washington Post, to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) last month in which he acknowledged he didn’t have a science background.
In the Oct. 17 letter to Stabenow, he said his courses were naturally tied to agriculture because it’s an industry strongly associated with Iowa.
“Additionally, I ran for two statewide offices in Iowa and one cannot be a credible candidate that state without significant agricultural experience and knowledge,” Clovis answered to one question from Stabenow, ranking member for the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.
Clovis previously ran for state treasurer and U.S. Senate.
When asked to list any graduate courses he’s taken in science, membership in scientific organizations or accolades he’s received, Clovis replied “None.”
Clovis acknowledged he hasn’t penned a scholarly article, nor edited one, about agriculture or any other science.
He’s written 17 on foreign policy and homeland security, the Washington Post notes, which has been subject of several classes Clovis has taught.
Agriculture, however, was a topic of on the Sioux Falls-based radio show.
He was an early backer of Trump in the Hawkeye State, and moved through the ranks as the former real estate developer’s campaign grew.