Candidate Donald Trump did not dismiss the idea of arranging a meeting with Russia's president when it was suggested in a meeting with his campaign foreign policy advisers previous year, according to a person in the room.
Clovis, who now serves as the department's senior White House adviser, informed President Donald Trump of his decision in a letter dated Wednesday.
In addition to his lack of qualifications to serve as the USDA's chief scientist, Clovis also became more controversial this week after getting caught up in the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence operatives in 2016.
Clovis is a self-described skeptic of climate change.
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Papadopoulos was named by Trump as a member of his foreign policy advisory panel in March 2016, when the candidate was trying to bolster his credentials as he moved to secure the Republican nomination for president. "The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day". Many objected over the summer when Trump fumed at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation and began hinting he would fire his attorney general.
On Tuesday, several thousand scientists and researchers affiliated with two national organizations that have rallied against Clovis's nomination signed letters urging the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry not to confirm him.
He says stupidity brought Papadopoulos, now a problem, into Trump's orbit. At this event, according to The New York Times, Papadopoulos "pitched the idea of a personal meeting between Mr. Trump and (Russian President) Mr. Putin", but then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, "as the campaign's top national security official, spoke vehemently against the idea, asking others not to discuss it again". Papadopoulos told the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to court documents, that in a national security meeting attended by Trump and campaign advisers, he "in sum and substance" said that "he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin".
Peskov also says that connections between former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and a man he believed to have links to the Russian Foreign Ministry did not prove any complicity by the Russian government.
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Gordon said Papadopoulos also offered to appear on the Sunday talk show circuit on behalf of Trump but was turned down.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Monday that the President does not recall specifics of the meeting and that the foreign policy group that Papadopoulos was a part of only met once. The White House has called Papadopoulos a low-level campaign volunteer.
Nonetheless, the court filing on Papadopoulos is now being contrasted with long-disputed answers Sessions gave the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing about Trump's campaign, including the exchange with Franken.
The person familiar with Sessions' activity during the campaign said his testimony has been truthful and consistent.
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