Apr 27, 2019

White House offers limited testimony from ex-security director Carl Kline

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House said on Friday it will allow its former personnel security director Carl Kline to give limited testimony to the House Oversight Committee on May 1, Politico reports.

Why it matters: White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney instructed Kline not to testify for his original April 23 subpoena date, as the House committee continues its investigation into the White House security clearance process. House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings moved to hold Kline in contempt after he failed to appear for his deposition.

What's new: The White House says Kline's testimony must be limited to "policies and practices" of the security clearance process in order for him to appear, per Politico. This may not satisfy Democrats demands.

The backdrop: White House whistleblower Tricia Newbold told the House committee that 25 denials for security clearance applications had been overridden by the Trump administration. She alleged that the White House ignored national security concerns over foreign influence, past criminality and other conflicts of interest that could leave officials susceptible to blackmail.

Go deeper: Elijah Cummings' op-ed on White House cooperation with committee's investigations

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China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown

People wearing facemasks stand near Yangtze River in Wuhan. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

China has lifted its lockdown of Wuhan, the city in Hubei province where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: As cases surged in January, China took the draconian step of sealing off the city of 11 million and shutting down its economy — a response that was viewed at the time as only possible in an authoritarian system, but which has since been adopted by governments around the world.

Go deeperArrow18 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,381,014— Total deaths: 78,269 — Total recoveries: 292,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 378,289 — Total deaths: 11,830 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The race to reopen America
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy