Apr 11, 2019

Ex-White House security clearance official to testify before House this month

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former White House Personnel Security Director Carl Kline will appear for a deposition before the House Oversight Committee on April 23, after the panel voted to subpoena him earlier this month in its investigation into the White House security clearance process.

The backdrop: White House whistleblower Tricia Newbold told the committee in an interview 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. One of the high-ranking officials for whom a security clearance denial was overridden was senior adviser Jared Kushner.

In a letter, Kline's attorney asked the committee to retract its subpoena, and instead subpoena the White House for records that lawmakers plan on asking Kline about. Kline's attorney also recommended that the panel look into security clearances issued under the Obama administration.

"These files will provide an apples-to-apples comparison to best evaluate claims concerning Mr. Kline’s process for high-profile security-clearance candidates (if any) and whether his own conduct was somehow unusual (if at all)."

Go deeper: Cummings names subpoena targets for security clearance investigation

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Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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Wall Street opens with 2% drop as coronavirus correction worsens

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market opened 2% lower on Friday morning, pushing stocks further into correction territory.

Why it matters: It continues the ugly stretch for Wall Street that began after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world. The S&P is 12% below its recent peak, edging closer to the mark that would technically end the market’s decade-long rally.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat

Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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