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Ex-Trump campaign official withdraws nomination for Ag post

Questions had been raised about his qualifications to serve as the Agriculture Department's chief scientist.

Posted: Nov 2, 2017 10:32 AM


WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Trump campaign official linked to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller has withdrawn his nomination for an agriculture post.

Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign national co-chairman and chief policy adviser, wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump dated Thursday that he does "not want to be a distraction or a negative influence."

Clovis is from Hinton, Iowa.

Questions had been raised about his qualifications to serve as the Agriculture Department's chief scientist. Clovis is a self-described skeptic of climate change.

Republicans were preparing to hold a hearing on his nomination next week. But it was revealed this week that Clovis had communications with George Papadopoulos, who has admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries last year.

In his letter, Clovis said the political climate in Washington "has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position."

"The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day," Clovis wrote. "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."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "We respect Mr. Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination."

Clovis was a professor of economics at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, before he joined the Trump campaign.

If he had been confirmed, Clovis would have overseen the department's nearly $3 billion investment in research and education grants. He also would have helped set the research priorities for the department and ensure that research is conducted with integrity.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 21960

Reported Deaths: 908
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7421549
Ramsey255198
Stearns195912
Nobles14782
Anoka124156
Dakota116438
Olmsted57010
Washington55329
Kandiyohi4711
Rice3962
Clay38625
Scott3742
Wright2631
Todd2200
Sherburne2172
Mower2061
Carver1822
Benton1672
Steele1440
Martin1265
Blue Earth1191
St. Louis11413
Freeborn970
Pine850
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Carlton730
Nicollet716
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Polk592
Watonwan580
Goodhue583
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Itasca537
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Dodge460
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Murray350
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Renville50
Mahnomen51
Lincoln50
Grant30
Clearwater30
Big Stone30
Red Lake30
Lac qui Parle30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Houston20
Kittson10
Hubbard10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17676

Reported Deaths: 477
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3821112
Woodbury264028
Black Hawk169240
Linn93676
Marshall87511
Dallas86417
Johnson6057
Muscatine54540
Wapello5174
Crawford4872
Tama39824
Scott3419
Louisa3369
Dubuque32316
Jasper25716
Buena Vista2520
Pottawattamie2207
Sioux2040
Washington1848
Wright1240
Plymouth1181
Allamakee1184
Warren1120
Story951
Poweshiek888
Mahaska858
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines591
Boone550
Cedar461
Guthrie433
Taylor400
Benton391
Jones360
Monroe354
Clarke350
Iowa330
Osceola320
Shelby310
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Marion300
Webster281
Fayette260
Hamilton250
Madison251
Monona240
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee210
Davis200
Grundy190
Lyon190
Harrison190
Cherokee180
Floyd181
Jefferson180
Mills160
Delaware150
Butler150
Hancock140
Keokuk140
Greene130
Sac130
Appanoose133
Humboldt130
Ida130
Hardin130
Howard120
Jackson120
Audubon121
Cass110
Clay100
Page100
Winnebago100
Dickinson90
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Chickasaw80
Franklin80
Kossuth80
Emmet70
Adair70
Montgomery60
Union60
Lucas60
Adams50
Ringgold40
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Mitchell40
Pocahontas40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
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