Trump's Nominee to a Top Science Post Is Also a 'Cooperative Witness' in the Senate Russia Probe

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Sam Clovis, who co-chaired President Trump’s national campaign, has been “fully cooperative” with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Senator Pat Roberts, who chairs the Senate Agricultural Committee, confirmed his cooperation with Politico on Tuesday.


As policy adviser to the Trump campaign, Clovis brought George Papadopoulos onboard the team as a foreign policy adviser. Papadopoulos, who was quietly arrested by special counsel Robert Mueller in July, was in contact with a Kremlin-connected professor claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton — in the form of numerous hacked emails. Clovis, documents pertaining to Mueller’s investigation revealed on Monday, knew about Papadopoulos’s contact with the Russian professor.

Clovis, who remains Trump’s nominee to the Agricultural Department’s top science post, was also interviewed by Mueller’s team. NBC News reported on Tuesday that Clovis testified before a grand jury convened by Mueller.

On Monday, The Washington Post identified Clovis as the campaign official who encouraged Papadopoulos to take the meeting with the Kremlin-connected emissary in Russia. “Make the trip, if it is feasible,” Clovis wrote Papadopoulos via email in August. Victoria Toensing, Clovis’s attorney, contended that he was just “being polite” in his email to Papadopoulos.

Even if Clovis hadn’t directed Papadopoulos to speak with a Russian professor offering dirt on Clinton, the Senate Agricultural Committee has more than once reason to contest his nomination. Clovis, a vocal climate-change denier, doesn’t posses a science degree or any degree related to agriculture — more succinctly, Clovis isn’t a scientist and that’s kind of a requirement for the position of USDA research undersecretary.

In addition to being an inexperienced political opportunist, Clovis is also a raging bigot. When he was a conservative radio host in Iowa, Clovis attempted to link the LGBTQ community to pedophilia and asserted homosexuality was a “choice” in a blog for his show.

Finally, I present another fun fact about his attorney, the aforementioned Victoria Toensing:


Night Editor, Splinter