Thursday 20 September 2018

White House aide clams up in hearing

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. Photo: AP /J. Scott Applewhite
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. Photo: AP /J. Scott Applewhite

Mary Clare Jalonick

US President Donald Trump's long-time aide Hope Hicks declined to answer questions about her time in the White House during a nine-hour, closed-door interview with the House intelligence committee, saying she was advised not to.

The panel is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and any contacts between Mr Trump's campaign and Russia.

As one of Mr Trump's closest aides, Hicks is a key eyewitness to his actions over several years.

She was his spokeswoman during the 2016 presidential campaign and is now White House communications director.

The top Democrat on the panel, California Representative Adam Schiff, said Ms Hicks answered questions about her role in Mr Trump's campaign and some questions about the period between the election and inauguration.

But he said she would not answer questions about events since Mr Trump took office.

Mr Schiff said Ms Hicks did not assert any type of executive privilege, but just said she had been advised not to answer.

Ms Hicks did answer a question about whether she had lied for her boss, saying she had told "white lies" for Mr Trump on occasion.

Irish Independent

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