Apr 2, 2019

House Oversight subpoenas White House in security clearance probe

House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee on Tuesday voted 22-15, along party lines, to authorize a subpoena to depose Clark Kline, the former director of the White House's Personnel Security Office, as part of its investigation into the Trump administration's security clearance process.

The big picture: The subpoena — likely the first of many to come — follows revelations by White House whistleblower Tricia Newbold, who told the committee that the Trump administration has reversed denials for 25 security clearance applications. Chairman Elijah Cummings said Monday that if White House officials do not cooperate, the committee will proceed with subpoenas for 4 other current and former White House officials involved in the security clearance process.

Cummings also said Monday that the committee is prioritizing security clearance documents related to the following current and former officials:

  • Ivanka Trump — White House adviser
  • Jared Kushner — White House senior adviser
  • John Bolton — National security adviser
  • Michael Flynn — Former national security adviser
  • Sebastian Gorka — Former deputy assistant to Trump
  • John McEntee — Former personal aide to Trump
  • K.T. McFarland — Former deputy national security adviser
  • Rob Porter — Former White House staff secretary
  • Robin Townley — Former senior director for Africa

Go deeper: House Oversight subpoenas Wilbur Ross over census citizenship question

Go deeper

Trump ousting intelligence community inspector general

Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

President Trump notified key lawmakers on Friday that he’s firing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general, who first alerted Congress last September of an "urgent" complaint from an official involving Trump's correspondence with the Ukrainian president.

Why it matters: The move, to take effect in 30 days, comes amid a broader initiative to purge the administration of officials seen as disloyal to the president.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,097,909 — Total deaths: 59,131 — Total recoveries: 226,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 277,828 — Total deaths: 7,406 — Total recoveries: 9,772Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primary elections by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.