U.S. President Trump chose Robert Blair to be the special consultant for international telecommunications coverage and work on the administration’s 5G efforts under White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the White House mentioned in a statement on Monday.
As the senior adviser to the White House chief of staff, Blair resisted an order from a House of Representatives panel as a part of its impeachment probe into whether Trump improperly urged Ukraine to investigate his domestic political competitor, Joe Biden.
Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer has further called for Blair to testify in the Senate’s anticipated impeachment trial. However, Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell, the bulk leader, has not accepted that demand.
Blair will proceed to serve as an assistant to the president and senior adviser to the White House head of staff, the White House said.
Blair’s new function comes amid an international campaign by the U.S. versus Chinese telecoms gear manufacturer Huawei Technologies. Washington has been seeking to persuade allies to exclude the company from their 5G networks over fears the company may spy on customers for Beijing.
Citing national security concerns, the U.S. administration put the corporate on a trade blacklist in May, blocking firms that make goods in the U.S. from selling to it and not using a special license.
Reuters reported last month that the Commerce Division is contemplating toughening export restraints on the agency, which is the world’s second-largest smartphone supplier.