- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Democrats’ have identified their next target among President Trump’s slate of obstructed nominees, demanding the White House withdraw the appointment of Samuel H. Clovis Jr. to be an undersecretary at the Agriculture Department.

Citing comments from Mr. Clovis they said amounted to “hate” toward the gay community, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Brian Schatz urged the cancellation of his nomination.

Mr. Clovis is a White House adviser on agriculture issues, and was chief policy adviser on the Trump campaign before that. He has also been an economics professor.

The president nominated him a month ago to be undersecretary for research, education and economics at the Agriculture Department.

But Mr. Schumer and Mr. Schatz pointed said he’s disqualified himself by past comments when he was a talk radio show host calling former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. “corrupt” and labeling him a “racist bigot” for the way the top Obama lawyer ran the Justice Department. The senators also pointed to comments calling then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez a “racist Latino.”

CNN dug through records of old talk show episodes to uncover those comments, as well as comments calling homosexuality a choice — and questioning the extent of protections the gay community should be extended under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, used the Equal Protection Clause to establish a national right to same-sex marriage in 2015.

Mr. Schumer and Mr. Schatz said that Mr. Clovis’s nomination is particularly troubling now, in light of the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. In the aftermath of neo-Nazis and counter-protesters clashing, a man later identified as having marched with the white supremacists plowed a vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others, police said.

“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 two senators said.

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