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Controversial Trump USDA nominee withdraws following link to Russia probe

Back in early August 2017, we reported on President Trump’s then-latest nominee for his cabinet: a man named Sam Clovis. Following in the tradition of Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, and Scott Pruitt of being selected for a position without the requisite experience, Clovis was picked to be the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics despite lacking a background in any scientific field. The real reason he was chosen was simple: he had worked as co-chairman of Trump’s national campaign, helping the man get elected.

Clovis’s nomination was evidently stalled given that congress had to barely deal with the devastating effects of a particularly destructive hurricane season. However, the American public will not have to worry about him anymore as Clovis has officially withdrawn his name from consideration. When George Papadopoulos plead guilty to Robert Mueller, he was forced to release numerous documents that contained evidence that several key members of the Trump campaign knew about the attempted collusion with Russia.

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Those names were made public in a report from The Washington Post, which included Clovis urging the arranging of a meeting between a Trump foreign policy adviser and Russian officials “if it is feasible.” Because of this disclosure, Clovis will avoid moving into a higher position. From his perspective, though, it is not because he allegedly committed traitorous actions, but because he fell prey to a witch hunt from the Democratic Party. As he put it:

“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position. The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases with intensity each day.”

To put it another way, Clovis believes that the congressional hearings on Russia are about punishing potentially guilty suspects over finding out the truth, ignoring the fact that no actions have been taken by the Senate or House that were not backed by evidence. The initial suspicions about Trump campaign officials colluding with Russia was brought forth by the US Justice Department and other intelligence organizations that were looking into Paul Manafort. The firing of James Comey as FBI Director prompted both parties to appoint an independent special counsel, headed by decorated marine and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who conducted a thorough probe into the claims.

While Clovis will continue to remain a senior USDA adviser for the White House, he will never have the power he could have potentially had as Under Secretary.

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