Sam Clovis has withdrawn his name for consideration to be an undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Clovis sent a letter to President Trump saying he does “not want to be a distraction or a negative influence” amid “relentless assaults on you and your team.”
Clovis has been linked to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
This week, it was revealed that Clovis had communications with George Papadopoulos, who’s admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries.
Questions have been raised about Clovis’ qualifications to serve as the Agriculture Department’s chief scientist.
He is a self-described skeptic of climate change.
The position for which Clovis was nominated, the undersecretary for research, education and economics, is usually chosen from scientists with training or experience in agricultural research, education and economics.