Former Trump Campaign Aide Leaving USDA

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign aide Sam Clovis is going to resign his role in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the end of the week.

According to Politico, Clovis worked at the USDA as a senior adviser since January 2017, most recently serving in the department’s National Resources Conservation Service. His last day is Friday. Politico also reported a “goodbye party” was held for him on Thursday night, according to a source attending the party.

“He is a good man and a patriot who for decades has served his country admirably,” a USDA spokesman told Politico. “While we are sad Dr. Clovis is leaving USDA, we wish him well on his future endeavors back home in Iowa.”

Clovis was serving as one of President Trump’s chief policy advisers during the campaign. He was later also nominated as an undersecretary at the USDA, where he would have served as the department’s chief scientist. Clovis withdrew his name from the nomination list in November, just before the Senate Agriculture Committee could hold a confirmation hearing, after facing a torrent of criticism from Senate Democrats and environmental advocates.

Clovis drew fire for his skepticism of climate science, past comments on issues like race and gender, and what critics on the left said was his lack of scientific credentials that are legally required for the position. He was later faced with further scrutiny especially after he was caught up in the special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

While being part of Trump’s campaign, one of Clovis’ responsibilities was supervising George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who struck a plea deal on the charges that he lied to FBI investigators about his communications with Russia-linked contacts. Clovis’ withdrawal followed shortly after news of Papadopoulos’ plea deal.

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