Trump agriculture nominee 'risks losing nomination due to Russian Federation investigation'


Clovis now serves as the senior White House adviser to the Department of Agriculture.

"Jeff Sessions concealed his meetings with the Russians and he had an obligation to be more forthcoming about meetings that involved Papadopoulos", said Sen.

Victoria Toensing, a lawyer for Clovis, did not dispute that but added that her client never said improving U.S. -Russia relations was a "principal foreign policy focus" because that was not his view of Trump's priorities.

The front page of the New York Times carries a picture of President Donald Trump February 25, 2017 a day after he criticized in a speech the Federal Bureau of Investigation and journalists in New York City.

The development is the latest sign that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion is impacting the day-to-day of Trump's administration, despite top White House aides - including Trump himself - claiming that the indictments of former top Trump campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates had nothing to do with the administration or the campaign.

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 past year.

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Sources tell CNN that Sam Clovis, Mr Trump's pick for the chief scientist job, could be pulled from the nomination because of his ties to former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos. Sessions has no clear recollection of Papadopoulos and doesn't recall any further interactions with him, including phone calls or emails, the person said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that Trump's campaign team provided the special counsel with emails involving Papadopoulos, and described it as a case of an individual doing the "wrong thing" while the campaign did the "right thing". After the news of the indictments broke, The Washington Post and CNN reported that Trump was seething in the White House about the news. At least two Democratic members of the Senate judiciary committee, Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate whether Sessions committed perjury during his confirmation hearings.

Yet, in a reflection of the extent to which the Russian Federation investigation and his own role as a Trump campaign ally have dominated public attention, Sessions first appeared months ago before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own probe of election meddling. "It was the one time that group ever met", she said. "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". He quickly rose through the ranks of the campaign after Trump's strong finish in the Iowa caucuses, taking a national role in the organization as officials scrambled to build a campaign team.

Trump nominated Clovis in September to serve as undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics for the USDA.

They called him unfit for the post.

"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.