In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks refused to answer some questions related to the Trump White House or the transition period, but told lawmakers that she sometimes tells “white lies” for the president.”
That assertion giving during an hours-long, closed door session, swiftly sparked an outcry for additional clarification.
“After extended consultation with her lawyers,” the New York Times claimed that Hicks noted that she hadn't lied about anything related to the Russian probe.
While CBS News reported that Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., said Hicks had “been forthright and open” and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said, "she's answered every possible question on the campaign," others called out the close Trump aide for stonewalling.
"This is not executive privilege, this is executive stonewalling," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said, calling Hicks' tightlipped testimony "a breathtakingly broad claim of privilege that I don't think any court would sustain, and I think the White House knows that."
Hicks refused to answer the committee's questions regarding a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Jared Kushner, who just lost his temporary top secret security clearance, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, currently under indictment in the Russia probe being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Russian operatives as well as the resultant crafting of a memo aboard Air Force One that mischaracterized that meeting.
Hicks's refusal to answer the committee's question was a familiar refrain for lawmakers. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., succinctly noted, "We got Bannoned," referring to former White House adviser Steve Bannon's similar refusal, which prompted the committee to issue a subpoena on the spot.