Trump nominee in danger of being pulled after Russian Federation revelations

Trump campaign official was just 'being polite' when he OK'd a meeting with Russians, his lawyer says

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 a year ago.

Clovis told Trump he would continue to serve as White House adviser to the Agriculture Department "at the pleasure of you and the secretary of agriculture".

"The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position", Clovis wrote in a letter November 1 to Trump.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly defended President Donald Trump's firing of James Comey, but at a Senate hearing Wednesday repeatedly declined to discuss private conversations with the president about the dismissal, frustrating Democratic lawmakers who wanted to link the firing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to a broader inquiry into Russian election meddling.

It was reported earlier this week that Clovis was the high-level Trump campaign official who encouraged George Papadopoulos to set up a meeting with Russian officials.

And regarding the Manafort indictment, he said, "And even if you look at that, there's not even a mention of Trump in there..." The Washington Post was first to report this.

In a letter obtained by the Post and published Thursday, Clovis confirmed that he did not have any academic credentials in science.

But the former Iowa talk radio host and political science professor contended in the letter to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee's top Democrat, Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), that his time teaching and running for political office in the Hawkeye State steeped him in the field of agriculture.

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The source added that Sessions "has no clear recollection" of Papadopoulos and any further interactions with him, even though two were seated next to each other at a second meeting of Trump's foreign policy team at the Capitol Hill Club steps from the House.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Monday that the President does not recall specifics of the meeting and that the foreign policy group that Papadopoulos was a part of only met once.

Mike Lavender, senior Washington representative for the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement that "emerging evidence of Clovis' potential involvement with the Trump campaign's Russian connections should be the final nail in the coffin for his confirmation".

But CNN is told Papadopoulos attended another campaign policy meeting, though Trump was not in attendance.

Clovis tentatively was slated to have a November 9 hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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".

The attorney general has since said that he interpreted questions from Franken and other senators to be about whether he knew of continuous, improper contacts between Trump surrogates and Russian operatives, and that he didn't.

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