Trump confidant: Impeachment inquiry is a 'mortal threat' to presidency

Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative news organization Newsmax and a longtime confidant of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE, said Tuesday that the House's formal impeachment inquiry is a "mortal threat" to Trump's presidency. 

"I believe it’s a mortal threat to his presidency. He certainly should treat it that way," Ruddy, who said that he spoke to Trump after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer MORE (D-Calif.) announced the inquiry last month, said on CNN. 

The Newsmax CEO justified his stance by noting the growing public support for impeachment, pointing to recent polls that show a majority of Americans endorsing an inquiry into the president. 

"The number of people saying the president should be impeached is increasing. Not significantly, but it’s moving in a bad direction for the president. So I do think it should be treated very seriously," Ruddy said, before arguing that Trump did not commit a crime in his dealings with Ukraine. 

A wave of revelations regarding Trump's interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky led Pelosi to shift her long-standing position last month and announce a formal impeachment inquiry.

A whistleblower complaint filed within the intelligence community is at the center of a group of House committees' investigation. 

The complaint accuses Trump of a broad effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenSupport for impeachment inches up in poll Overnight Defense: Trump's Syria envoy wasn't consulted on withdrawal | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump to rethink Syria | Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment MORE and his son over unfounded allegations of corruption. 

A White House memo confirms key components of the complaint that focus on the president's July 25 phone call with Zelensky. In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiOvernight Defense: Trump's Syria envoy wasn't consulted on withdrawal | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump to rethink Syria | Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment READ: Diplomat describes pressure put on Ukraine to open 'investigations' MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBrennan's CIA a subject of Barr's review of Russia investigation: report Pelosi releases 'fact sheet' saying Trump has 'betrayed his oath of office' Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report MORE to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter. 

Trump and several GOP lawmakers have dismisses charges of wrongdoing, asserting that the impeachment inquiry is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. 

On Tuesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone told Pelosi and three Democratic committee leaders that the Trump administration would refuse to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The move will likely invite a constitutional clash between the president and the lower chamber of Congress.