- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

Hope Hicks told the House Judiciary Committee that President Trump was serious when he said there was nothing wrong with accepting dirt on political opponents from a foreign government, Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, said Thursday.

It was the first details committee members have offered about Ms. Hick’s closed-door interview with the committee on Wednesday. A transcript is expected to be released later this week.

Ms. Hicks made clear that she understood the president to be serious when she said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections,” Mr. Nadler said. “She also made clear that even she knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI.”

Mr. Nadler’s comments came as part of his opening statement during a public hearing focused on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

“His invitation to foreign actors is so alarming that even one of his most loyal former aides, Hope Hicks, knew that the president’s statement was troubling,” Mr. Nadler said.

Last week, Mr. Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept derogatory information about political opponents from a foreign entity. The remarks responded a torrent of criticism and the president ultimately walked back his remarks in a later Fox News interview.

“Of course you have to look at it because if you don’t look at it you’re not going to know if it’s bad,” Mr. Trump later told Fox News. “If I thought anything was incorrect or badly stated I’d report to the FBI or law enforcement, absolutely.”

Ms. Hicks, who served as Mr. Trump’s communications director, spent eight hours in a closed-door committee hearing Wednesday. Democrats said she refused to answer questions at the direction of a White House attorney.

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