WASHINGTON | Sam Clovis, President Trump's choice for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture post, came under scrutiny Wednesday for a years-old blog from his former Sioux City talk radio show in which he labeled progressives "liars, race traders and race traitors," and referred to former President Barack Obama as a "socialist" who "hates the greatness of this nation."
CNN reported Wednesday on the archived blog posts from 2011 and 2012, which were originally posted on KSCJ's website as part of Clovis' now-defunct program “Impact with Sam Clovis." Other national news organizations later picked up the story.
Clovis, who is also a former economics professor at Morningside College in Sioux City and a former candidate for U.S. Senate and Iowa treasurer, was a top policy advisor during Trump's presidential campaign.
Currently serving as a senior White House adviser to the USDA, Clovis has been nominated as undersecretary for the department's Research, Education and Economics division, a post considered the department's top scientist. His appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, has faced opposition from Democrats and others who have questioned his conservative views on climate change and his limited scientific credentials.
In one blog post in August 2011, Clovis mentioned a local caller to his radio show that was concerned that Republican presidential candidates "seem to be afraid of taking on the race baiting."
"I could not agree more," Clovis wrote. "The current crop of candidates need to get that titanium spine we keep hearing about and call out the progressives for what they are -- liars, race traders and race 'traitors.' "
"We can go back 100 years and see how the progressives, socialists and fellow travelers have done everything possible to keep minorities in this country enslaved to the government. This is particularly true in the African-American community."
In multiple blog posts, Clovis hammered then-President Obama. In September 2011, Clovis claimed Obama had "no experience at anything other than race baiting and race trading as a community organizer. He has never run anything."
In September 2011, Clovis spoke of "desparate (sic) times for the president "as he seems to be recognizing that perhaps there are people out here who do not like his policies and have really stopped liking him as a person."
"He is clearly a progressive socialist who hates the greatness of this nation and is doing all he can to make permanent changes in the structure of the country before he leaves office."
Clovis declined questions about the blog posts, referring questions to the USDA.
"Dr. Clovis is a proud conservative and a proud American. All of his reporting either on the air or in writing over the course of his career has been based on solid research and data. He is after all an academic," a USDA spokesperson told CNN.
Local officials at KSCJ, which is owned by Powell Broadcasting, did not immediately respond late Wednesday to the Journal's request for comment.