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 TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now 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. 

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"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 BidenSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' 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 GiulianiSenate rejects subpoenaing Mulvaney to testify in impeachment trial GOP rejects effort to compel documents on delayed Ukraine aid Citizens United put out a welcome mat for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Barr wrote 2018 memo contradicting Trump's claim that abuse of power is not impeachable Brent Budowsky: McConnell, Roberts and Trump on trial 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.