In a testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, White House communications director Hope Hicks has reportedly admitted telling what amounted to white lies for President Donald Trump.
However, she denied lying about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers said Hope Hicks deflected some questions in the nine-hour hearing.
The 29-year-old former model has been by Donald Trump’s side for years.
Hope Hicks is seen as a key witness in the ongoing inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, said afterwards that Hope Hicks answered questions about her role in Donald Trump’s campaign.
According to the California Democrat, Hope Hicks also discussed matters relating to the transition period between the election and the inauguration.
However, Adam Schiff said she would not answer any questions about events since Donald Trump became president.
Image source Wikimedia
Hope Hicks reportedly refused to answer questions about a 2016 meeting between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower.
When reports of the meeting first emerged, President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., released a statement saying the meeting was held to discuss Russian adoptions.
However, in a later statement, Donald Trump Jr. said the meeting had been held after members of the campaign were offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Hope Hicks was with the president on Air Force One while they were penning the initial statement, which the White House has acknowledged Donald Trump had a role in drafting.
“All of our questions about what went into that statement went unanswered,” Adam Schiff told AP news agency. “We got Bannoned,” said Democratic representative Dennis Heck as he emerged from the session.
Dennis Heck was referring to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who declined to answer questions about anything other than the Trump campaign during his testimony earlier this month.
Hope Hicks has already testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee and met Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice special counsel.
Robert Mueller is investigating whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, or obstruction of justice.
VIDEO Rob Porter, one of President Donald Trump’s top aides, has resigned amid abuse claims from his two ex-wives.
The White House staff secretary said “these outrageous allegations are simply false” as he announced he would step down.
The accusations were first reported in the
Daily Mail and include accounts of physical and emotional abuse.
The White House would not comment on a report that Rob Porter, 40, failed to receive security clearance.
His ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, both recounted stories of Rob Porter’s alleged misconduct.
Colbie Holderness, the first wife and a government analyst, said the White House aide had been verbally and physically abusive.
She said Rob Porter had kicked her on their 2003 honeymoon in the Canary Islands.
Colbie Holderness also alleged he punched her in the face while they were on holiday a couple of years later in Florence, Italy.
She supplied a photo of herself with a black eye to the media.
The second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, a motivational speaker, told the
Daily Mail she was married to Rob Porter from 2009 to 2013.
She wrote about her experiences in a blog post entitled
Why I Stayed.
Jennifer Willoughby said she filed a protective order against him in June 2010 after he allegedly punched the glass of the door at their Alexandria, Virginia, home.
She told the
Washington Post on February 7: “He has never faced repercussions that forced him to confront his issues. “I care about him and want what’s best for him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean him keeping his job because he needs to face these underlying issues.”
Rob Porter rejected the allegations in a statement read by the White House press secretary on February 7.
“I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described,” he said. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a co-ordinated smear campaign.”
Image source Wikimedia
According to the
Daily Mail, RobPorter did not receive security clearance for his White House job after the FBI interviewed his ex-wives during background checks.
However, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to be drawn on that issue.
She told reporters:
“Background checks involve a complex investigation run by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. “As has always been our policy, we do not comment on security clearances. Rob Porter has been effective in his role as Staff Secretary. “The President and Chief of Staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance.”
Rob Porter attended Harvard with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
His White House role involved working with the president and his chief of staff John Kelly.
Before Rob Porter resigned, John Kelly told the
Daily Mail the staff secretary was “a man of true integrity and honor”.
According to the reports, Rob Porter has recently been romantically linked with White House communications director Hope Hicks.
VIDEO Former model Hope Hicks has been named White House Communications Director for President Donald Trump.
The 28-year-old was the interim White House Communications Director and now she will serve in the role on a permanent basis.
The longtime Trump aide is the fourth person to fill the position, replacing Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired in July after just 10 days on the job.
Hope Hicks has served as President Donald Trump’s strategic communications director and campaign press secretary. She was one of the first staffers to join Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The former Ralph Lauren model worked as a publicist for Ivanka Trump’s fashion label.
Her permanent appointment comes after a summer of staff shake-ups at the White House.
Image source Wikimedia
Anthony Scaramucci was fired after he raised eyebrows for calling a reporter to give a profanity-laced tirade against his own colleagues.
President Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and spokesman, Sean Spicer, both left their posts after Anthony Scaramucci’s appointment.
General John Kelly, who replaced Reince Priebus, sacked Anthony Scaramucci after he was sworn in.
Mike Dubke, who was first appointed as communications director, resigned in May.
Sean Spicer also filled in as communications director while the post was open over the summer.