Politico: White House adviser Sam Clovis leaving USDA

Sam Clovis, a White House adviser on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is leaving the department, and his last day will be Friday, Politico has reported, citing a source who attended his going-away party on Thursday evening.

Clovis had been President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the department’s chief scientist, but he withdrew from consideration last year. Trump had picked Clovis for the position despite him not having a background in science, and that lack of experience, alongside a history of racially charged and homophobic comments, made his nomination particularly controversial.

Sources told CNN at the time of his withdrawal that Clovis’ nomination was imperiled as well over his connections to the ongoing Russia probe. At the time, there were questions over Clovis’ relationship with George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser who has admitted to making a false statement to the FBI regarding his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government.

A CNN KFILE review in August 2017 revealed Clovis had previously said homosexuality is a choice and that the sanctioning of same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of pedophilia.

Clovis will go back to his home state of Iowa following his departure, a USDA official told Politico.