White House communications director, who tendered her resignation after her closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, told the panel that disgraced national security adviser Mike Flynn had asked her to lie during the presidential transition, CBS News reported Thursday.
Hicks also told lawmakers that she was required, as a White House official, to fabricate “white lies” on behalf of the president.
Hicks repeated the words “white lies” after Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) “went through the phone book” and asked her whether anyone else had asked her to lie, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) told the network.
Rooney said that Swalwell “went through the phone book,” asking Hicks whether a “litany of 50” people, including “the entire Trump family,” had ever asked Hicks to lie. The list of names, both Rooney and Swalwell said, included Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Michael Cohen and others. Swalwell also asked Hicks whether she heard Mr. Trump ask others to lie for him.
Hicks gave a “blanket” response by declining to answer in each instance, Rooney said. “She wasn’t going to respond to those questions – and she shouldn’t have,” Rooney said.
“The whole line of questioning was a trap,” he added. “They sent her down a rabbit hole that she could not get out of — and it was completely unfair.”
However, Hicks did comment on Flynn, who was forced out of the White House in February 2017 over his secret contacts with Russia and pleaded guilty in December to lying to FBI agents.
Swalwell told CBS News that Hicks specified that Flynn had asked her to present information as true that she later learned to be false. The lawmaker told CBS that she appeared to be selectively protecting Trump associates and administration officials.
The lawmakers did not say whether Hicks specified what misleading information Flynn had instructed her to disseminate.