Withdrawal of Trump’s unqualified anti-science USDA nominee
When Donald Trump nominated his former campaign co-chairman, Sam Clovis, to be the next Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alarm bells went off across the country. Many of Trump’s nominees have been industry shills; however, the Chief Scientist at the USDA was a special case.
Before making his way to Washington, D.C., Clovis was a conservative radio talk show host in northwest Iowa. He used the airwaves to spew homophobic, misogynistic and racist messages. He has no background in science or agriculture and is a blatant climate denier.
USDA’s Chief Scientist is responsible for making the decisions about how the department spends money on research. With his long history of denying climate change and a complete lack of any understanding of science, Clovis was considerably unfit for the office.
After he was nominated, Friends of the Earth reached out to our members, asking them to call their Senators, sign petitions, and send letters to Congress. And our members responded.
We collected more than 70,000 signatures from our members opposing Sam Clovis. Additionally, we worked with other organizations from across the progressive movement to help pressure the Senate to stop Trump’s dangerous nominee.
The pressure paid off. The Senate committee responsible for the nomination repeatedly delayed their hearings into Clovis’ background. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer denounced the nominee’s past statements and publicly said he was not fit for the position.
Then the news broke: Sam Clovis was involved in the Russia investigation. Clovis had been interviewed by members of Robert Mueller’s investigative team regarding his ties to Russia and his decision to send a young aide to London to talk with a Russian spy.
Clovis quickly withdrew his nomination. And it would have never happened without our members and the actions they take every day to help roll back Trump’s extreme agenda. Their calls, their signatures, and their letters helped stop one of Trump’s most dangerous nominees from taking office.