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Hope Hicks Confirms Trump Was Serious About Accepting Foreign Election Interference in 2020
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=25345"><span class="small">Zack Ford, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Saturday, 22 June 2019 08:35

Ford writes: "When former White House communications director Hope Hicks spoke to the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, she didn't answer many questions. In fact, USA Today counted 155 questions that she refused to answer."

The former White House communications director Hope Hicks. (photo: AP)
The former White House communications director Hope Hicks. (photo: AP)

Hope Hicks Confirms Trump Was Serious About Accepting Foreign Election Interference in 2020

By Zack Ford, ThinkProgress

22 June 2019

"I don't think that was a joke based on what I saw."

hen former White House communications director Hope Hicks spoke to the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, she didn’t answer many questions. In fact, USA Today counted 155 questions that she refused to answer. But she did address a few questions about President Donald Trump, including whether he would accept dirt on his election opponents from foreign adversaries in 2020, as he claimed in a recent interview.

Yes, Hicks confirmed, Trump was serious about that.

Committee lawyer Norman Eisen first asked Hicks about Trump’s public statement during the 2016 campaign asking Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” referring to deleted messages on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Hicks said that based on her conversations with Trump immediately afterward, she believed the remark had been “a little bit tongue-in-cheek” and not “intended as an instructive or a directive to a foreign government.”

Hicks called the comment “a joke,” and said that then-candidate Trump “intended [it] as a light-hearted comment.”

But when Eisen asked about comments Trump made just last week in an interview with ABC News, saying he would willingly accept foreign information on an opponent in the next election — “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” he said at the time — Hicks’ tone shifted.

“I don’t think that was a joke based on what I saw,” she said, noting that she may not have seen enough of the interview to know all the context.

Hicks then said that she would not accept such information and would advise others against it as well.

Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) confirmed Hicks’ responses in a statement following the hearing, saying the former communications director had “made clear that she understood the president to be serious when he said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections,” and “knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI.”

Following Trump’s recent comments, Federal Elections Committee Chair Ellen Weintraub released a statement reiterating that it was “illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”

Despite this warning, Trump doubled down in an interview last Friday with Fox & Friends, saying he would like to see any dirt on opponents from foreign adversaries before reporting it. “You have to look at it, because if you don’t look at it you won’t know it’s bad,” he said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, introduced legislation this week that would clarify that any information from foreign officials that offers a political advantage indeed counts as something “of value.” It would also impose a fine or jail time for anyone who knowingly violates the statute.

Democrats are currently investigating at least five instances of possible obstruction involving Trump, as laid out in special counsel’s final report, made public in April, and had hoped Hicks would shed some light on those incidents in her testimony this week. However, Hicks patently refused to answer most substantive questions she was asked this week, including about various findings in the Mueller report, as well as her conversations with the president.

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-11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-22 10:51
I don't get the point of this article. The simple facts are that Trump did not accept help from foreign governments and Hillary did accept it, lots of it. Many people in the media and their gullible readers are still accepting foreign dirt on Trump.

Some really interesting foreign dirt on Manafort recruited from Ukraine by the Clinton campaign just got released in a small way to the public. This is the second dossier on the Trump campaign that Clinton solicited. It is the "Black Cash Ledger," which claims that Manafort was laundering large amounts of cash through his political consulting business. The ledger came from the Ukrainian government, the one installed by the Obama/Clinton regime. It was false and all made up. But the Mueller Probe used it in their prosecution of Manafort. Mueller knew it was false but used it anyway.

Probably this will be grounds for dismissing the convictions in an appeal, but for now it is relevant because this was the actual use of real foreign dirt by the Clinton campaign. The Trump campaign was just too inexperienced and too naive to do anything like this. Hillary really did get Russian dirt on Trump. Trump only joked about it, and his joke was about Hillary's real Sec. of State email. Is that dirt?
+5 # lfeuille 2019-06-22 16:50
The point of the article is that Trump is willing to knowingly break the law. He knows it's illegal and wants to do it anyway. It does not matter what you or anyone else thinks of the law. It is the law and the president, no matter who he is is not authorized to break it. It is really very simple. Stop pretending not to understand.
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-23 05:52
I think the law is more narrow than you suggest. Governments share information all the time. People do to. It is not always a clear "solicitation of things of value" as Weintraub states. Sometimes it is just speech.

But the hypocrisy is just too much for me. Weintraub used to work for Perkins Coie, the lawfirm that served as the money launderer for the hiring of Fusion GPS, Steele, and a number of Russian sources for Steele's dossier. She was part of their "political law group," advising candidates and elected officials on electoral laws.

She knows everything about the Clinton-Fusion- Steele-Russian conspiracy to create Russiagate -- or at least she should. Why is it that she has ignored for more than a year a formal complaint from members of congress for the FEC which she heads to investigate the Clinton-Fusion- Steele-Russian affair? She heads the Federal Election Commission. Why won't she investigate this? Why hasn't Perkins Coie been investigated?

I just don't think Trump's wishes or hypothetical desires are of any importance when we have glaring and real violations of FEC laws right in front of our noses.
0 # Texas Aggie 2019-06-24 08:18
What you think about the narrowness of the law is irrelevant. Trying to equate a government intelligence agency working with another government's intelligence agency as being the same thing as a campaign committee accepting dirt from a foreign agency is dishonest as all blazes.

And it is just buying into Phat Boy's "crooked Hillary" misdirection to try to claim that somehow Russiagate is a fantasy. Several people spending jail time for dealing with Russians as well as numerous accounts of contact between Kremlin agents and the drumpf campaign are not a mirage.
+6 # Interested Observer 2019-06-22 11:56
I wonder why more hasn't been made of the fact this is one of the few times Trump has told the truth. 10,000 lies and counting, would one even need recourse to the toes to count the number times Trump has told the truth?
+3 # DongiC 2019-06-23 07:14
Trump and all that sorry lot of federal officials that stand behind him should do jail time as a reminder that no one person(s) is above the law and that we are, allegedly, a nation of laws. Without some loss of their freedom, this motley crew would never understand the significance of their actions in refusing to testify before the committees of Congress.

It is called separation of powers, folks, and it is the bedrock of our democracy. Trump and Co. seek to split that rock. They should suffer the consequences of their misdeeds!
0 # Texas Aggie 2019-06-24 08:12
“You have to look at it, because if you don’t look at it you won’t know it’s bad,”

It doesn't matter whether it's good or bad. Receiving it is illegal and not reporting it is worse. This is not a difficult concept.