Attorney General Jeff Sessions is once again under scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding his candor about Russia and the Trump campaign amid revelations that he rejected a suggestion to convene a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump a year ago.
Roberts has not issued a statement on Clovis as of early November 2, but Stabenow said in an email, "Sam Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination as chief scientist is a victory for science and our farmers who rely on agricultural research".
A Sessions spokeswoman declined to comment this week on the March 31 meeting with Trump and campaign advisers, including Papadopoulos. In August 2016, Clovis encouraged Papadopoulos to organize an "off the record" meeting with Russian officials, according to court documents.
Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials, in the first criminal charges alleging links between the Trump campaign and Moscow. To that end, he tried several times to set up meetings between Trump campaign and Russian government officials.
Both Papadopoulos' and Page's statements appear to cast doubt on comments made by Sessions to the Senate multiple times since his confirmation hearing in early January, as well as remarks made by the president.
Sessions "needs to come back before the committee, in person, under oath, to explain why he can not seem to provide truthful, complete answers", Senator Patrick Leahy, the panel's senior Democrat, said in a statement.
Donald Trump and Sam Clovis.
Revelations that the attorney general was previously in a meeting with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and was told about Page's trips to Russian Federation have been raised by lawmakers as a subject of further inquiry.
Toensing described Clovis as a "polite gentleman from Iowa" who "would always have been courteous to a person offering to help the campaign". Clovis, a former Iowa talk radio host and political science professor, has a bachelor's degree in political science, a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in public administration, according the Post.
Farm groups have supported the Clovis nomination, saying he would be an effective advocate for ag research. A USDA spokesperson confirmed Clovis will stay on in that capacity.
The White House has moved to distance itself from Papadopoulos.
"The emerging information about his role in the Trump campaign's interactions with Russian Federation raises serious concerns", said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, what kind of experience he has in either agricultural or natural sciences, Clovis' reply was simple: none. "As we consider his nomination, I will be looking into these facts, along with his questionable qualifications and long history of divisive and outrageous statements". But President Trump already knew that when he nominated Mr. Clovis, and that is not why his nomination was abruptly pulled today.