Schumer & Schatz Call on President Trump to Withdraw Nomination of Sam Clovis

August 23, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Brian Schatz, in the wake of recent violence in Charlottesville, released the below statement calling on President Trump to withdraw his nomination of Sam Clovis to be USDA Undersecretary for research, education and economics:

“In this time of great division, our nation cries out for healing, unity and clarity on the path forward from our elected leaders. Unfortunately, for Donald Trump to nominate and to advocate for Senate confirmation of someone with views as backwards as Mr. Clovis’s, is not only a signal to the darkest and most evil forces in this country to carry on, but a clear as day message to the world that this administration continues to tolerate hate.

“The extremist views Mr. Clovis has expressed and the racist conspiracy theories he has stoked about President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, members of the LGBT community and others have zero place in the public discourse, much less coming from the highest levels of our government.

“First and foremost, President Trump should withdraw the Clovis nomination immediately – not only because he is a proud ‘skeptic’ of climate change and wildly unqualified for the position of USDA Chief Scientist – but also as a gesture to the American people that this administration is serious about rooting out the most hateful voices in our society. If President Trump refuses to withdraw Mr. Clovis, we will vehemently oppose his nomination and urge our colleagues from both parties to come together and summarily reject him as well.”

Background on the Nomination of Sam Clovis to be USDA Undersecretary for research, education and economics:

Sam Clovis Questioned President Obama’s Credentials for Admittance to Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard; Implied President Obama Was “Being Given a Pass Because He is Black”

  • Sam Clovis: “We know so little about his early life, over which, to be fair, he had little control. However, beginning with his teen years, we find a person who indulged in self-destructive behavior. Further, he was directly influenced by a devout communist and pedophile in the personage of Frank Marshall Davis. How profound that influence might have been is certainly open for speculation, but it is clear that the Obama who went on to Occidental (how he got in is a mystery, as are his admittances to Columbia and Harvard) was a young man who was well on his way to crafting the illusion that was quite different from his real life. For over a decade, Obama allowed his publisher to carry a biography that had him born in Kenya. Only after beginning his pursuit of public office did he “correct” the entry. Why have his associations with Ayers, Dorhn, Flager, Farrakhan, Rezko and Wright been coated over with the dismissive hand of the main stream media? Why has a person who has become pathological in his prevarications been given a pass by those who are most affected by his ill-guided policies? Why has his clear narcissism been assuaged by those who seek his favor? Why have the American people not been exposed to his incredible flaws? Could it be that the first African-American president is being given a pass because he is Black? How incredibly racist is that? The logical conclusion is that because he is Black, he cannot help himself. This kind of thinking is the absolutely worst. Of course, the real racists in America are those who, unfortunately, make that connection.” [Impact With Sam Clovis, 8/28/12]

Sam Clovis Called Attorney General Eric Holder a “Racist Bigot”

  • Sam Clovis: “In recent weeks, much has been written and discussed concerning our current Attorney General Eric Holder," writes Clovis. “‘Let's be clear,’ as our president is so fond of saying, that this attorney general may be the most corrupt and incompetent person to hold the job since the Nixon administration. He is a racist bigot who cannot see beyond his own hateful, willful and despicable world view. As such, his administration of his duties hurts all Americans and makes us all much less safe. He is supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer in the United States, defending the Constitution and all the laws of the land, but he is selective in what he does or has his people do and appears to have no intention of supporting the Constitution.” [Impact With Sam Clovis, 4/4/12]

Sam Clovis Called DNC Chairman Tom Perez a “Racist Latino”

  • Sam Clovis: This goes right in line with Tom Perez who is a racist Latino and goes to (inaudible) who is a racist Latino, Eric Holder who is a racist black, he got appointed against racist white people other than they don't hire any people of color in the White House so it's kind of an ironic twist there. This is really an incredibly bad situation for the President because—I don't know whether he does this on purpose because these people are so controversial and they're so bad and many of them have ties to so many corrupt situations, you wonder if this isn't on purpose, that he doesn't float these people up to take our eye off the ball and so this is really, I think, one of those things and that's really behind it that's so terrible. Watt is one who has been outrageously racist in his comments, he is very much a person—here is who he's tied to.” [CNN, 8/11/17]

Sam Clovis is a Proud ‘Skeptic’ of Climate Change

  • Sam Clovis: “I am extremely skeptical. I have looked at the science and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed. And a lot of the science is junk science. It’s not proven; I don’t think there’s any substantive information available to me that doesn’t raise as many questions as it does answers. So I’m a skeptic.” [Iowa Public Radio, 5/27/14]

Sam Clovis Said Homsexuality Is “A Choice” And That Marriage Equality Could Lead To Protections For Pedophiles

  • “‘Someone who engages in LGBT behavior -- I don't know what the science is on this, I think it's still out -- but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make,’ Clovis says in a video obtained by CNN's KFile. ‘So we're being asked to provide Constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic.’ ‘There's no equivalency there between the civil rights issue associated between those protected classes and the civil rights of someone who engages in a particular behavior,’ continues Clovis. ‘Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? What's the logical extension of this? It can't be that we're going to protect LGBT and then we'll pull up the ladder. That's not going to happen, it defies logic. We're not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.’” [CNN, 8/21/17]