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Hope Hicks arrives at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Hope Hicks, White House communications director and highly trusted member of the Trump team, testified behind closed doors for nine hours with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, but declined to answer questions about the transition and her time in the White House. However, according to the New York Times, Hicks told House investigators that she is occasionally forced to tell "white lies" from her work in the administration.

Flashback: Hicks was involved in the scramble to respond to reports of a 2016 meeting between Don Jr. and a Russian lawyer, and allegedly said details of the meeting “will never get out" — a claim her lawyer has denied. She has also been in the room for other key moments that members were anxious to ask about.

  • Rep. Danny Heck told reporters the committee "got Bannoned," per the Daily Beast, referring to Steve Bannon's restricted testimony in which he cited executive privilege. Per CNN's Manu Raju, Hicks has not yet claimed executive privilege, but is following the White House "playbook."
  • Rep. Mike Quigley told Raju that "anyone who doesn't answer questions ... ought to be subpoenaed going forward."
  • Hicks denied seeing "evidence of collusion," per Rep. Chris Stewart told FOX.
  • Rep. Tom Rooney told reporters that Hicks answered some questions about the transition, CBS' Olivia Victoria Grazis reported.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff told Grazis that Hicks was clearly given the same instruction as Bannon was: "This is not executive privilege, this is executive stonewalling."

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.