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Sam Clovis, top Trump campaign official ensnared in Mueller's probe, is leaving the Trump administration

Sam Clovis, the former Trump campaign national co-chairman who withdrew his nomination to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture's top scientist last fall after he became embroiled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, is leaving the USDA, effective Friday. Clovis had been serving most recently as the USDA's White House liaison, and his going-away party was Thursday night, Politico reports.

Before President Trump nominated Clovis to be the USDA's undersecretary for research, education, and economics, despite an acknowledged lack of science background, he had led the Trump transition team's USDA group. On the campaign, Clovis had supervised George Papadopoulos, the policy adviser whose loose lips sparked the Russia investigation; Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian officials. Clovis "is a good man and a patriot who for decades has served his country admirably," a USDA spokesman said. "We wish him well on his future endeavors back home in Iowa."