WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday it would refuse to cooperate with an "illegitimate, unconstitutional" congressional impeachment inquiry, setting Republican President Donald Trump on a collision course with the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives.

Hours after the administration abruptly blocked a key witness in the Ukraine scandal from testifying to congressional panels, White House lawyer Pat Cipollone criticized the decision by lawmakers to proceed with an impeachment inquiry without a full House vote.

"You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process," he said, adding House Democrats had left Trump "no choice."

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has ordered a substantial reduction in the staff of the National Security Council, according to five people familiar with the plans, as the White House confronts an impeachment inquiry touched off by a whistleblower complaint related to the agency's work.

Some of the people described the staff cuts as part of a White House effort to make its foreign policy arm leaner under new national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

As President Donald Trump faces an unprecedented impeachment inquiry, he's taken to his comfort zone, using Twitter to attack Congress, the media, and the anonymous intelligence whistleblower who filed a complaint against him.

In the 24 hours since the explosive whistleblower complaint was released, Trump has used social media to aggressively defend himself.

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WASHINGTON — The presidential helicopter isn't supposed to leave scorch marks on the White House lawn. So the Navy and Lockheed Martin Corp. are working to fix a "high risk" problem after the new Marine One did just that in a test without the president on board.

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It's a good thing we're not racing headlong into a war with Iran or some other equally daunting geopolitical catastrophe, because the task of actually filling the Pentagon's top job is starting to look like an increasingly messy task.

After Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan withdrew from consideration for permanent secretary, President Donald Trump tapped Army Secretary Mark Esper to take over as his second Acting Secretary of Defense in five months.

But unfortunately for both Trump and Esper, a federal law from 1998 puts a number of legal hurdles in their way.

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Photo: Sgt. Amber I. Smith/U.S. Army

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Pentagon has told the White House that the U.S. military will not be politicized, a U.S. official said on Sunday, in response to a controversy after officials directed the United States Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of sight during a recent speech by President Donald Trump in Japan.

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