U.S. President Donald Trump told the New York Times on Wednesday that "I'm actually not angry at anybody" in relation to the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, disputing a widely reported characterization that he has grown increasingly frustrated with the probe.
However, as scrutiny mounted into his testimony and qualifications for the post Clovis wrote President Trump on Thursday asking his name be withdrawn from consideration. "The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases with intensity each day". "As I am focused on your success and the success of this Administration, I do not want to be a distraction or negative influence, particularly with so much important work left to do for the American people".
Still, Sessions' defense of the Comey firing - and his insistence that it stemmed from the handling of the Hillary Clinton email case - was consistent with the initial explanation by the White House.
Clovis confirmed in an October 17 letter obtained by The Washington Post that he has no academic credentials in either science or agriculture.
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadapoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and documents released Monday show he was in contact with Russians who offered him "dirt" - including thousands of emails - on Hillary Clinton, NBC News reported.
Though he refused to say whether he discussed with Trump Comey's involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, he did say that the president had asked him and Rosenstein for their recommendations about what to do with Comey. The FBI did not identify Clovis.
Clovis' lawyer said he was just "being polite" at the time and described Clovis as "a polite gentleman from Iowa". Clovis could not stop an American citizen from traveling overseas "in his personal capacity", she said ...
"We need to keep Mueller in place and make sure he continues to do his job", Ryan said.
"From early on, I have strongly opposed the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the chief scientist at USDA", she said in a statement.
Trump said the allegations happened "long before" he joined the campaign. That may be because Mueller's team determined that his assertion was untrue. Papadopoulos attended two. Trump only attended one.
In April, the professor introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian national connected to the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, and they had conversations over Skype and email about setting up a meeting between Trump campaign and Russian government officials.
Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, asked Sessions: "Did anybody in the campaign, did you ever overhear a conversation between you and anybody on the campaign who talked about meeting with the Russians?"
"There's no way he would fight this or cause trouble for the White House", a Republican official and longtime associate of Clovis said.
They called him unfit for the post. But he had been a contentious pick since Trump first nominated him this spring, given the fact that he has no experience in the hard sciences and had made controversial comments in the past on climate change and gay rights.