President Trump nominated Clovis earlier this year to serve as USDA’s undersecretary for research, education, and economics, effectively known as the USDA chief scientist position. However, Clovis was recently linked to the investigation into the links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Clovis says in a letter to President Trump that he does “not want to be a distraction or a negative influence.” He cites “relentless assaults” on the Trump administration that “seem to be a blood sport.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the administration respects his decision to withdraw.
Clovis, who was already serving as the senior White House adviser on USDA, added that he will “continue to serve at the pleasure” of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
His nomination faced a tough road as some in the Senate, including Ranking Agriculture Committee member Debbie Stabenow, questioned his qualifications for the USDA post. Stabenow called the withdraw “a victory for science” and farmers who rely on agricultural research.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.