Friday will be the last day at USDA for Senior White House Advisor Sam Clovis as he prepares to head home to Sioux City, Iowa.
“I’ve been living out of my truck and a suitcase for five years and I’m ready to go home,” said Clovis about his work dating back to his own campaign for the U.S. Senate before he joined President Donald Trump’s campaign and USDA. “I think we’ve accomplished a great deal … I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and I’m leaving the place in good hands.”
Clovis, a former radio show host who served as senior policy adviser on the Trump campaign, was nominated to be USDA’s undersecretary for research, economics and education, but heavy opposition in the Senate prompted him to withdraw his name for consideration before the Senate Agriculture Committee could hold a confirmation hearing.
Opposition rose from Democrats after revelations that linked him to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections. Critics also complained that Clovis lacked the necessary scientific background to be USDA's top scientist.
“The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position,” Clovis said in his letter to the White House asking that his nomination be withdrawn. “The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day.”
Clovis told Agri-Pulse that the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one.
“This was my decision and it was a very personal and difficult decision,” he said. “My wife is a schoolteacher and school is about out at home and it’s a good time for me to go home and for us to have the summer together and for me to get a little bit of a break.”
Clovis said he’s already got employment lined up, but he didn’t give any details. For now, at least, it won’t be another radio show, but that could come later.
“You never know,” he said. “I’m pretty good at it.”
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