An Iowan asks for his USDA Under Secretary nomination to be withdrawn.
Sam Clovis asked President Trump early Thursday to withdraw his nomination for Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, also referred to as Chief Scientist, at the United States Department of Agriculture. In a letter obtained by the Hagstrom Report, Clovis cites the political climate as his reason for withdrawal.
“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position,” Clovis said. “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 the 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.”
Clovis concluded his letter with: “I remain a devoted and loyal supporter, and will continue to serve at the pleasure of you and the Secretary of Agriculture.”
Ranking Member of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says Clovis’ decision to withdraw his nomination is a victory for science and farmers who rely on agricultural research.
“From day one, it was clear to me that Sam Clovis was the wrong choice for our farmers and ranchers,” Stabenow said. “His lack of qualifications and long history of politically divisive statements were disqualifying, and recent news surrounding his time as co-chair of the Trump campaign has raised even more questions.”
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says Clovis’ withdrawal is a lost opportunity for a strong leader to serve America’s farmers.
“During his nine months at USDA, he’s already made a big difference for agriculture,” Grassley said. “Sam served his country in the military, and was well-suited for the position. He’s in touch with the grassroots of rural America, and however he serves next, there’s no doubt he’ll make a big contribution.”
The Hagstrom Report says Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kans) told reporters Clovis’ hearing was scheduled for November 9.