Hope Hicks told House panel Trump is serious about foreign help in elections

Hope Hicks leaves a closed hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Hope Hicks leaves a closed hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Hope Hicks, a once close aide to President Donald Trump, told the House Judiciary Committee that Trump was serious in saying there was nothing wrong in accepting derogatory information about political opponents from a foreign government, panel chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Thursday (June 20).

"Ms Hicks made clear that she understood the president to be serious when he said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections," Nadler said in a statement for a hearing on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"She also made clear that even she knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI," he said.

Hicks, who was Trump's campaign press secretary and his White House communications director, spent eight hours in a closed-door committee hearing on Wednesday.

But she refused to answer questions about her 14-month White House tenure after administration attorneys said she was immune from testifying on the topic.

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, want Hicks to answer questions about five episodes in the Mueller report that they believe contain evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump.

They also questioned her about hush payments during the 2016 campaign to two women, including porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

 

Nadler pledged to release a transcript of Hicks' testimony soon.