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Trump labels Russia probes witch hunt before Hicks hearing

President Donald Trump labeled a congressional probe that’s looking into the possibility that his campaign colluded with Russia a ‘WITCH HUNT’ on Tuesday as one of his top aides prepared to testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today in the latest chapter in the standoff between associates of Trump and Congress.

The president in four tweets on Thursday morning attempted to redirect focus from his campaign’s alleged collusion to accusations that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a criminal.

The last one simply said:  ‘WITCH HUNT’.  

President Donald Trump labeled a congressional probe that’s looking into the possibility that his campaign colluded with Russia a ‘WITCH HUNT’ on Tuesday as one of his top aides prepared to testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today

Hicks' position in the White House came under additional scrutiny amid the Rob Porter scandal. Porter is the former staff secretary who was accused of abusing two ex wives

Hicks’ position in the White House came under additional scrutiny amid the Rob Porter scandal. Porter is the former staff secretary who was accused of abusing two ex wives

Hicks will testify behind closed doors today after a scheduled January appearance was postponed.

Her appearance follows a heated clash between the committee and former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon and will renew a fight with lawmakers over what top White House officials are allowed to discuss about actions they took while they were in Trump’s service. 

Trump came out swinging on Tuesday morning as Hicks headed to Capitol Hill for what promised to be an hours-long grilling.

‘ “I’ve been skeptical about the collusion and obstruction claims for the last year. I just don’t see the evidence….in terms of the collusion, it’s all a bit implausible based on the evidence we have, ” ‘ Trump tweeted, repeating a statement that George Washington University professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley made Sunday morning on Fox News.

The president also quoted Ken Starr, the government-appointed lawyer who investigated Bill Clinton in the ’90s, in a tweet that asserted that there has been ‘NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION’ between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government to swing the 2016 presidential election.

‘ “I have seen nothing, the firing of James Comey and all of the aftermath, that suggests that the President has obstructed justice because he’s exercising his power as the President of the U.S. I just don’t see it,” ‘ Trump pointed to Starr having said.

Highlighting Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano’s comments on ‘The Story,’ Trump tweeted: ‘ “He’s got a very good point. Somebody in the Justice Department has a treasure trove of evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s criminality at her own hands, or through others, that ought to be investigated. I fully agree with the President on that.” ‘

Trump tied them all together with his claim that the Russia probes are a ‘witch hunt.’  

White House lawyers are attempting to declare off-limits questions for Hicks and other aides who worked for Trump during the government transition in an extension of executive privilege.

The House Intel panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, has said it was ‘likely’ Bannon would face contempt of Congress after failing to answer numerous questions in his last appearance under that veil. 

‘I suspect that Mr. Bannon has been informed that [the White House] will only stonewall so far,’ Schiff said at the Council on Foreign Relations after Bannon only agreed to answer 25 questions that were authorized by the White House.

Schiff added, ‘They will never allow him to be fined or go to jail, but they do wish to draw the process as long as they can.

Hicks is under scrutiny now for the role she played in a White House statement that was drafted aboard Air Force One in response to a New York Times report that Donald Trump Jr. had met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower.

Additionally, the New York Times reported that Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for the president’s legal team, planned to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Hicks had said that the emails that Trump Jr wrote about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians ‘will never get out.’

The president’s son has already had his turn in the hot seat in the House, as has Jared Kushner the president’s son-in-law. Kushner also attended the meeting in Trump Tower.

Hicks is one of the president’s longest-serving political aides, having joined the campaign at its genesis.

Before that, the former teen model handled public relations for Ivanka Trump within the Trump Organization. 

Hicks’ position in the White House came under additional scrutiny amid the Rob Porter scandal, as she had been dating the White House staff secretary at the time that he resigned in disgrace after DailyMail.com revealed allegations of abuse from two of his ex-wives.

She and Porter are no longer together, according to people with knowledge of the former entanglement.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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