Senate

Senate Agriculture Dem: Clovis was ‘comically bad nominee’

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) ripped President Trump’s former nominee to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist on Thursday, saying he was a “comically bad” fit for the post.

“Sam Clovis was almost a comically bad nominee, even for this administration. He is inarguably unqualified, and he is wrong on almost every major issue relevant to the chief scientist post to which he was nominated,” Leahy, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement. 

“His nomination is all too typical of the anti-science agenda and the know-nothingism pushed by President Trump and his administration,” he added. 

{mosads}Leahy’s comments come after Clovis, who worked on the Trump campaign, withdrew his nomination for the Agriculture Department post on Thursday amid questions about how he will feature in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

It surfaced this week that Clovis was the high-level campaign official with whom foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, discussed communicating with Russian officials during Trump’s presidential campaign. 

Clovis said he withdrew his nomination due to Washington’s political climate. 

“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position,” Clovis wrote.
 
“The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day. As I am focused on your success and the success of this Administration, I do not want to be a distraction or negative influence, particularly with so much important work left to do for the American people.”

Leahy said he would have pressed Clovis on the allegations during hearings before the committee. 

“Mr. Clovis’ nomination was only withdrawn because that would certainly have been a topic during his upcoming testimony, under oath, before the Senate Agriculture Committee. I know because I was going ask him all about it to get more facts on the record and before the American people,” he said. 

Tags Donald Trump; Sam Clovis; Patrick Leahy; George Papadopoulos Patrick Leahy

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