In a letter sent to President Trump on Wednesday, Sam Clovis withdrew from consideration for the position of USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.
“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position,” Clovis wrote in his letter.
“I am grateful to Secretary Perdue and you for having the confidence in me to nominate me,” the letter continued. “I also wish to thank Senator Pat Roberts for being in my corner along with the other Republican members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. It saddens me that circumstances will not allow me to fulfill your, or their, expectations in that role.”
Clovis’s nomination has been controversial from the start. He has no academic credentials in science or agriculture, which have been the hallmarks of individuals holding this position in the past. Clovis has a bachelor’s degree in political science, an MBA, and a PhD in public administration. He has been a conservative radio talk show host in Iowa and professor of public policy, and was instrumental in Trump’s presidential campaign.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Clovis was one of the campaign officials who was aware of efforts to broker a relationship between the campaign and representatives of Russia.