Controversial nominee Sam Clovis is no longer under consideration for a USDA undersecretary position. He withdrew his name from consideration in a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Clovis’ nomination to be USDA’s Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics was controversial from the beginning based on comments he made as a conservative blogger and talk radio host. In recent days, the scrutiny grew as revelations linked him to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections. Clovis was also reportedly interviewed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation.
In his letter to Trump, Clovis said he was “eternally grateful and humbled” for the nomination, but said he did not “want to be a distraction or negative influence.”
“We respect Mr. Clovis’s decision to withdraw his nomination,” says White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.