The northwest Iowa man who served as national co-chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is reportedly the “campaign supervisor” who urged a Trump campaign volunteer to meet with Russian officials.
Sam Clovis, a former Morningside College professor, was the host of a radio talk show in Sioux City. He ran as the Iowa GOP’s candidate for state treasurer in 2014 after losing to Joni Ernst in the U.S. Senate primary that spring. Clovis joined the Trump campaign payroll in August of 2015 and worked in Trump Tower after the Iowa Caucuses.
The attorney Clovis has hired provided a statement to The Washington Post, saying Clovis was “being polite” when he told a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor in an email to “make the trip” to Russia “if it’s feasible.” That foreign policy advisor was George Papadopoulis. Yesterday the Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election revealed Papadopoulis had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Clovis’ attorney told The Washington Post Clovis had no authority to prevent an American citizen from going to Russia, but the attorney says Clovis always maintained “no person could travel abroad as a representative of the campaign.”
Clovis is still part of the Trump team. He is currently the White House liaison to the USDA. He’s been nominated to be the USDA’s top science adviser and his confirmation hearing in a senate committee had been scheduled for next week. That hearing may be delayed or cancelled, though, as senators on the committee would likely ask Clovis about his role in the Trump campaign.