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Published: Sat, November 04, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump nominee Sam Clovis withdraws consideration for USDA post amid Russian Federation probe

Trump nominee Sam Clovis withdraws consideration for USDA post amid Russian Federation probe

Papadopoulos told the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to court documents, that in a national security meeting attended by Trump and campaign advisers, he "in sum and substance" said that "he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin". Coinciding with emerging evidence of Clovis' involvement with Russian officials during the Trump campaign, the letter calls 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.

Asked under oath at a Senate hearing last month if he believed Trump campaign surrogates had communications with Russians, Sessions replied, "I did not and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened".

Court documents released along with Mr Papadopoulos's plea reveal numerous people with whom he corresponded.

A controversial former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump has withdrawn his name from consideration for a top post in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the wake of reports that connected him to an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump, who recently boasted of having "one of the great memories of all time", told reporters Friday morning as he departed the White House for his 12-day trip to Asia, "I don't remember much about that meeting".

The revelation comes as Clovis is waiting to be confirmed as the USDA's undersecretary for research, education and economics; a hearing is slated for November 9.

President Donald Trump on Friday said he did not remember much about a meeting last year with a former campaign aide who pleaded guilty this month as part of a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last year's US election campaign.

"He needs to clarify his testimony before our committee", Judiciary Committee member Sen.

"When the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that a Republican operative named Peter Smith who mounted an effort to contact foreign, specifically Russian government hackers, to try and get Hillary Clinton's emails, Peter Smith claimed, somewhat famously now, he was working with Retired Gen. Mike Flynn" on the effort, Maddow said. Toensing said Clovis "would always have been courteous to a person offering to help the campaign".

Clovis had previously come under scrutiny and harsh criticism from Democrats and pro-equality organizations after anti-LGBTQ comments he made as a candidate for the U.S. Senate came to light.

The White House has moved to distance itself from Papadopoulos. A USDA spokesperson confirmed Clovis will stay on in that capacity. But President Trump already knew that when he nominated Mr. Clovis, and that is not why his nomination was abruptly pulled today.

Despite carrying a majority of farmers in the presidential election, Trump has been slow to fill leadership positions within the USDA and has targeted the agency with deep budget cuts.

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