Meet Sam Clovis. Actually, you may have during 2016 when he appeared frequently on various cable outlets as ex-reality-show-host Donald Trump's campaign "surrogate." Trump wants him to head science at the Department of Agriculture. Clovis is not a scientist, which in Trumpworld makes complete sense in some kind of perverse "drain the swamp of people who actually have vast expertise in the area they manage" way.
As if that weren't bad enough, Clovis is a stone-cold racist and a conspiracy nut:
Sam Clovis, Donald Trump's pick to be chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture, pushed unfounded theories about then-President Barack Obama's upbringing and called then-Attorney General Eric Holder a "racist black," a CNN KFile review of Clovis's writings and radio broadcasts during 2012 and 2013 has found.
Clovis was a conservative radio host and political activist in Iowa before gaining national attention as one of the more vocal supporters of Trump during the presidential campaign. His nomination to head science at the USDA requires Senate confirmation.
CNN's KFile reported last week on blog posts from 2011 and 2012 in which Clovis called black leaders "race traders" and accused Obama of being a "Maoist." CNN's KFile has since obtained the transcripts of some episodes of Clovis' radio show, "Impact with Sam Clovis," reviewed hours of available audio of Clovis' radio appearances, and uncovered previously unreported blog posts by Clovis. (Read CNN KFile's full research here.)
The material shows how Clovis regularly engaged with fringe theories that were prevalent in the right-wing radio and blogosphere during Obama's presidency.
Clovis did not return a request for comment. A spokesperson for the USDA and the White House also did not respond to emails requesting comment.
Memo to CNN: don't hold your breath.
KFile has more specifics:
In a post from September 2011, Clovis wrote in reference to Obama, "He was brought up by socialists to be a socialist. His associations were socialists or worse, criminal dissidents who were bent on overthrowing the government of the United States. He has no experience at anything other than race baiting and race trading as a community organizer."
The month before, Clovis said the 2012 Republican primary candidates needed to call out progressives for what they were - "liars, race traders and race ‘traitors.'"
[Clovis also wrote,] "We can go back 100 years and trace how the progressives, socialists and fellow travelers have done everything possible to keep minorities in this country enslaved to government. This is particularly true in the African-American community. The progressives have systematically attacked the individual, the black family unit, the black female and the black male to essentially eliminate people of color from the American landscape. Because elimination has become impractical, subservience to government is an acceptable second option.
He also referred to Tom Perez, the former Secretary of Labor who now leads the Democratic National Committee, as "a racist Latino," according a transcript CNN obtained.
Heavy also found this:
Clovis has also questioned scientists who say that climate change is real. As CNN found, Clovis called the term climate change "nonsensical" during a June 2013 radio show appearance. "I'm not sure this is settled science," Clovis said.
Clovis continued, "I'm not sure that we're really looking at anything understanding - what we have to examine is how the language changes and when you start to go away from 'global warming' to 'climate change' this goes right into the heart of progressive thinking because what it says - or what the implication is - is that somehow the progressives are going to figure out a way to create the ideal climate in all regions of the earth. And so how nonsensical is that? If you follow that logic to its logical conclusion, that's the conclusion in which you arrive...is that there is some perfect weather or some perfect climate that we will have for everyone - everyone will thrive."
When presented with NASA figures that 97 percent of scientists agree that warmer temperatures are a result of human activities, Clovis told Iowa Public Radio in 2014 that he is still "extremely skeptical."
And he seemed like such a nice guy!