Morningside: “Outraged” Over Sam Clovis’ Work With Trump’s Muslim Policy

It appears one of Donald Trump’s top Iowa backers and national policy adviser may face some serious blow-back at home over Trump’s new policy on Muslims. The Republican front-runner rolled out his new proposal on Monday that would ban all Muslims from entering the United States, even if they were American citizens traveling abroad (though Trump has mentioned he would make exceptions for members of the military and his own personal friends).

An Iowan appears to have played a role in the development of that policy: Sam Clovis, Trump’s hired gun from Iowa, a former conservative talk radio show host, Republican candidate for statewide office and professor at a college in Sioux City. It’s that last position, as a professor of economics at Morningside College, that may now be at risk thanks to Clovis’ involvement with Trump’s campaign.

Starting Line reached out to a spokesperson from Morningside College, where Clovis has taken a leave of absence from this year to work for Trump’s campaign. We asked whether Clovis advising a leading presidential candidate to promote a policy that would ban an entire religious group from entering the United States conflicts at all with Morningside College’s mission statement or values.

“Very much so,” replied Rick Wollman, the Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Morningside. “This is not the Sam Clovis that we knew when he was here. Sam was a staunch defender of the Constitution and a strong advocate for religious freedom. If he played a role in drafting or advising the Trump campaign on this issue, we will be outraged and extremely disappointed in Dr. Clovis.”

While Clovis enjoys tenure at the college, it sounds as if his employment there may be at risk going forward.

“He is a tenured member of our faculty at this time and, prior to looking at this issue more closely, he could come back,” Wollman explained. “However, the college will be studying this issue more closely in the weeks ahead.”

Wollman confirmed that Clovis requested and was granted an unpaid leave this year after joining Trump’s campaign (Clovis had previously worked for Rick Perry until the Texas Governor dropped in the polls), and that Clovis had not yet indicated whether he would return next year or not. He also noted that Morningside has one student who identifies as “Islamic,” though they have no students hailing from Middle Eastern countries.

Starting Line has been unable to confirm with Clovis what exactly his full involvement with Trump’s new policy is. We informed Dr. Clovis of Morningside’s statement regarding him; Clovis hung up the phone. A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign did not respond to Starting Line’s email or phone message on the topic.

In an interview with Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, Clovis seemed to indicate knowledge of the campaign’s thinking on the issue, saying the campaign had discussed a policy on Muslims for several weeks. Clovis serves as a national policy adviser for the campaign. He also defended and promoted the policy in that interview, so the matter of whether he helped craft the policy or not may not matter that much in the end.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 12/8/15

8 Comments on "Morningside: “Outraged” Over Sam Clovis’ Work With Trump’s Muslim Policy"

  • Suggest asking Mr. Wollman how threatening Professor Clovis’ employment for the content of his political views matches with basic tenets of academic freedom. Trump’s proposal is awful policy and nearly impossible to implement, but Clovis should have the right to advocate that policy.

  • I am not a Trump supporter. I think he is a blowhard, BUT it is a very slippery slope when organizations try to punish, penalize, or intimidate candidates for public office based upon their positions. This is especially true for organizations that depend on public funds.

    • Good thing Morningside is a private college and about the only federal money they see is indirect (via student loans).

      And let’s not forget, Iowa is an “at-will” employment state. Barring any contractual provisions and state/federal discrimination laws, Morningside can fire whomever whenever.

  • Hi MrSam Clovis,
    You are now one the most importand person in the world thats being adviser to Mr.TrumpPlease advice Mr.Trump to explain to the world that he did not mean to ban Any moderate muslims like Head of states ,Businessman,or any kind of Government officials He is a top class Businessman he is not stupidHis message was to all Jihadis brainwashed and sent into United States and other western countries under the refugee blanket etc abnd we all kanow whats happening We all feel very grateful cause he is the only one who had the balls to speak out aginst terror we also know he has lost so much personally for this statement to save us and our fururte generations and we will show him our gratitiute by voting for him but before that he has to clear the bad name he ahs got into by stupid people not understanding what he meant.People in US do not realize its for our own good he had to put his step down just look around us Fanatic,radicalized young mulims are being trained and sent inot our beloved country as slleping cells and will strike even after many years how are w egoing to stop this only you and your team of advices and Mr.Trump can stop this

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