White House communicator Hope Hicks refused to answer several questions during her closed door meeting with the House Intelligence panel Tuesday regarding the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. She cooperated with questions about her time working for the Trump campaign and during the transition period, but when it came to questions post-Trump inauguration, she declined, telling the panel the White House had advised her not to answer.
She also reportedly admitted to telling occasional "white lies."
Hicks did answer a question about whether she had ever lied for her boss, saying she had told “white lies” for Trump on occasion, according to a person familiar with the testimony. The person, who declined to be named because the committee’s interviews are not public, said Hicks told the panel she had not lied about anything substantive.
Media pundits mused that this admission means they can't believe anything she says from here on out.
After every on the record statement she gives, every reporter and viewer/reader now won’t know whether she’s speaking the truth. Hard to justify using her quotes or statements in any story given this admission. https://t.co/3ePoTdCilr— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 28, 2018
Hicks was a little more forthcoming than other Trump associates who appeared before the panel. Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, refused to answer questions even relating to the transition period. The House may hold him in contempt.
President Trump continues to dismiss the Russia investigation as a "witch hunt." He believes he was vindicated by the House Intelligence Committee's FISA memo that showed how the FBI spied on members of his campaign.
On Wednesday, Trump rebuked his attorney general for not moving fast enough in getting to the bottom of these FISA violations.
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018