Mar 28, 2019

House panel demands briefing on Kushner's meetings with Saudi royal family

White House aide Jared Kushner has visited Saudi Arabia numerous times since President Trump tasked him with "Middle East peace." Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is requesting a briefing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Jared Kushner's trip to Saudi Arabia last month over concerns that embassy staff was "sidelined" from meetings between Kushner and members of the Saudi royal family, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Daily Beast reports.

Details: House Foreign Committee Chair Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the briefing should include all emails, receipts, clearance records and any other records on file regarding all trips overseas involving Middle Eastern leaders.

The big picture: The trip to Riyadh was part of a larger Middle East trip in which Kushner and other advisers planned to discuss President Trump's highly anticipated plan for peace in the region. Kushner's close relationship with Mohammed bin Salman has come under heightened scrutiny following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the U.S. intelligence community has assessed was likely ordered by the crown prince.

Go deeper: Saudi prince authorized secret crackdowns carried out by Khashoggi killers

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House Democrats lose appeal to force McGahn testimony

Photo: Alex Wong / Staff

Democrats in the House lost an appeal to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with a subpoena, Politico was the first to report.

Why it matters: McGahn was seen as a crucial witness in the House investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday that it did not have the authority to resolve the dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

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Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat