Coinciding with emerging evidence of Clovis' involvement with Russian officials during the Trump campaign, the lettercalls the nomination of Clovis to be undersecretary for research, education and economics (which includes the role of chief scientist) "an abandonment of our nation's commitment to scientifically informed governance", and urges the Senate Agriculture Committee to reject it.
Sam Clovis, a top adviser to President Donald Trump during his election campaign, on Thursday withdrew his candidacy for a senior administration post, just days after he was linked to another aide who pleaded guilty in the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
"The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position", Clovis wrote in the letter. A USDA spokesperson confirmed Clovis will stay on in that capacity.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, did not respond directly to a question if the committee would hold a November 9 confirmation hearing on Clovis, as expected.
The USDA press office did not respond Wednesday to repeated requests for comment about the nominee's agricultural experience. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, asked him to list "all graduate level courses you have taken in natural science", "all membership and leadership roles you have held within any agricultural scientific, agricultural education, or agricultural economic organizations", and "any awards, designations, or academic recognition you have received specifically related to agricultural science".
Victoria Toensing, a high-profile Washington lawyer working for Clovis, said the Iowan was "being polite" when he replied to Papadopoulos's offer to meet Russian Foreign Ministry officials "off the record if it's in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people".
Clovis, who was co-chair of the Trump presidential campaign, has been implicated in the scandal involving Russian influence in the election.
Clovis, a co-chairman of Trump's presidential campaign, has always been controversial for the remarks he has made about race and about some farm programs when he was a professor and talk show host in Iowa. But President Trump already knew that when he nominated Mr. Clovis, and that is not why his nomination was abruptly pulled today. In 2011, Clovis said federal grant money was "immediately addictive like some street drug" to state and local officials.
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Earl Thomas out for Seahawks on Sunday
Chancellor is listed as questionable due to his ankle, but there's been no talk about him missing the game in Seattle this week. Left tackle Trent Williams (knee), center Spencer Long (knees) and tackle Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) were listed as doubtful.