Sam Clovis, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, withdrew himself from consideration Thursday, the White House announced.
…Questions are swirling over Clovis’ relationship with George Papadopoulos — the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who has admitted to making a false statement to the FBI regarding his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government — and a trip Papadopoulos took during the election where he met with a Russian figure.
…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.
…Trump had picked Clovis for the position despite him not having a background in science, and that lack of experience, alongside a history of racially charged and homophobic comments, made his nomination particularly controversial.
…Clovis previously argued that protections for LGBT people would lead to protections for pedophilia, and as a radio host and political activist, he promoted the hoax that former President Barack Obama was not born in the US. Likewise, he called Obama a “Maoist” and said Attorney General Eric Holder is a “racist black.”