Mueller Investigation Sinks a Trump Nominee

Pavel Golovkin  AP

Court documents unsealed Monday revealed that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in early October to making false statement to FBI investigators about his contacts with foreigners claiming to have high-level Russian connections.

"The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position", wrote Clovis, who now serves as USDA's senior White House adviser. "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".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he sees nothing wrong a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump reaching out to a Kremlin-linked think tank.

Sekulow's comments to ABC's "Good Morning America" come a day after a former Trump aide admitted lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about meeting with Russian intermediaries and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.

"We respect Mr. Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement to pool reporters. 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.

A White House source familiar with the investigation tells ABC News "the White House was surprised to learn Mr. Clovis had been contacted by the Special Counsel's office as part of their separate probe of Mr. Papadopoulos' activities".

A lawyer for Clovis, who is now a senior White House adviser to the Agriculture Department, did not respond to a request for comment. "It was the one time that group ever met", she said.

President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) top scientist is in danger of being pulled, according to a new report from CNN. "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 Sessions, who was a top surrogate for Trump during the campaign, did not disclose these discussions despite a persistent set of questions from Democrats and some Republicans about Russian Federation during multiple hearings on Capitol Hill. 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.

"And in Monica-gate with Bill Clinton in which he was actually impeached but not convicted - no matter what the White House said, it turned out that things were not going well".

A separate former campaign official said the national security team was assembled "to demonstrate that then-candidate Trump was becoming more informed on foreign affairs issues".

"That was a fairly stunning event for both of us and it did highlight the problem more significantly than it had been before", Sessions said, referring to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

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