Trump's Anti-LGBT, Non-Scientist Pick for USDA Science Post Drops Out

Aaron Brown
November 3, 2017

Candidate Donald Trump did not dismiss the idea of arranging a meeting with Russia's president when it was suggested in a meeting with his campaign foreign policy advisers past year, according to a person in the room.

Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign national co-chairman and chief policy adviser, wrote in a letter to President Trump dated Thursday that he does "not want to be a distraction or a negative influence", per the AP.

Clovis now serves as the senior White House adviser to the Department of Agriculture.

But Sessions, who was a top surrogate for Trump during the campaign, did not disclose these discussions despite a persistent set of questions from Democrats and some Republicans about Russian Federation during multiple hearings on Capitol Hill.

Court papers unsealed Monday revealed an indictment against Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a guilty plea by another adviser, who admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about meetings with Russian intermediaries. "The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day".

Russia's Foreign Minister has insisted that allegations of Kremlin meddling in the USA presidential election are "fantasy".

"From early on, I have strongly opposed the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the chief scientist at USDA", she said in a statement.

I think it was completely fair to judge Clovis based on the fact that he has no experience in the hard sciences, no credentials in agriculture, and was nominated for a position typically held by people with advanced science degrees.

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The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Clovis was one of the campaign officials referred to in court documents who Papadopoulos was emailing with.

But the former Iowa talk radio host and political science professor contended in the letter to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee's top Democrat, Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), that his time teaching and running for political office in the Hawkeye State steeped him in the field of agriculture. They knew that Papadopoulos had gone overseas seeking contacts, but that isn't unusual for a foreign-policy adviser.

"He's an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy", Trump said. That court filing, issued as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, said Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Asked Monday if Trump was "still comfortable" with Clovis serving in the administration, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded, "I'm not aware of any change that would be necessary".

"And in Monica-gate with Bill Clinton in which he was actually impeached but not convicted - no matter what the White House said, it turned out that things were not going well".

At his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Sessions denied any contacts with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

A separate former campaign official said the national security team was assembled "to demonstrate that then-candidate Trump was becoming more informed on foreign affairs issues".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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