Ex-Trump campaign official withdraws nomination for ag post

Caputo Papadopoulos was a coffee boy

Caputo Papadopoulos was a coffee boy

A controversial former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump has withdrawn his name from consideration for a top post in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the wake of reports that connected him to an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. In reality, the group met only once or twice and didn't really function.

Clovis, who was already serving as the senior White House adviser on the Agriculture Department, added that he will "continue to serve at the pleasure of you and the secretary of agriculture".

He says stupidity brought Papadopoulos, now a problem, into Trump's orbit.

Franken asked: "If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?"

Papadopoulos continued to email high-ranking campaign officials about a request from Russian Federation to meet Trump. "As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russian Federation, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues".

A former unpaid campaign aide, Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his contact with Kremlin-linked Russians. But the official described Papadopoulos as an adviser who was in contact with the campaign staff via email and not a familiar face around Trump Tower. In testimony submitted to Capitol Hill investigators, Kushner said he "shook hands" and "exchanged brief pleasantries" with Kislyak.

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.

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"It clearly worked at the time", the former campaign official said.

He largely adhered to that principle during the five-hour hearing, refusing to say what Trump told him about his reasons for wanting to fire Comey, whether Trump confided in him his concern about "lifting the cloud" of the Russian Federation investigation and whether he had asked him to drop a criminal case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. Likewise, he called Obama a "Maoist" and said Attorney General Eric Holder is a "racist black".

"It might be worth writing a letter and saying 'What happened?' I wouldn't mind writing a letter, because he was pretty definitive he never had that discussion about Russia", Graham of SC said in an interview.

Republicans were preparing to hold a hearing on his nomination next week.

But the chairman of Trump's national security team, then Alabama senator and now attorney general Jeff Sessions, shut down the idea of a Putin meeting at the March 31, 2016, gathering, according to the source. They say a professor told Papadopoulos in April 2016 that the Russians had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of emails. "I did not, and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened", Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee under oath.

The special counsel's office has been calling witnesses for the last several months for both interviews at their Department of Justice offices in addition to testifying before a newly impaneled grand jury.

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