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Peter Navarro. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has refused to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents, citing a "direct order" from former President Donald Trump, according to a letter released Saturday.

Why it matters: This is the first time a witness has refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, per the Washington Post, and it could likely result in Navarro being held in contempt of Congress.

  • The panel, which is investigating the Trump administration’s pandemic response, has come under fire by the former president's allies, who have called the probe politically motivated.
  • Navarro's letter said Trump told him to "protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments."

What he's saying: "At this time, I am unable to respond to the Subpoena, based on former President Trump's invocation of executive privilege," Navarro wrote to the House panel.

  • This "matter is out of my hands and something that the Sub-Committee should discuss with President Trump’s counsel," he continued.

The other side: "Your blanket refusal to comply with the subpoena in its entirety is improper," Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the committee chairman, wrote in a letter to Navarro.

  • "It is abundantly clear that you possess information responsive to the subpoena that is not covered by any colorable claims of executive privilege."

Go deeper

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas tech giants

A mob of Trump supporters breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday subpoenaed Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter for records as part of its investigation of the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The four social media companies have key information related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election and domestic violent extremism, the panel said.

Trump calls McConnell a "loser" before hanging up on NPR host

Photos: Saul Loeb, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump abruptly cut short an interview with NPR on Tuesday after being pressed about his false, baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 and lambasting Republicans who have spoken out against them.

Why it matters: The interview once again highlights the extent to which Trump is willing to turn against members of his own party if they do not back his unsupported claims.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.