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President Trump took to Twitter to complain that his former communications director Hope Hicks is being put "through hell" by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, despite the fact that Hicks refused to answer any questions about her time in the White House during her closed-door interview on Wednesday.

So sad that the Democrats are putting wonderful Hope Hicks through hell, for 3 years now, after total exoneration by Robert Mueller & the Mueller Report. They were unhappy with result so they want a Do Over. Very unfair & costly to her. Will it ever end? Why aren’t they asking Hillary Clinton why she deleted and acid washed her Emails AFTER getting a subpoena from Congress? Anybody else would be in jail for that, yet the Dems refuse to even bring it up. Rigged House Committee

The big picture: A White House counsel sitting in on the interview has blocked Hicks — the first witness to at least partially comply with a subpoena in the committee's obstruction of justice investigation — from answering any question about her work in the White House or the Trump transition team, according to reporting from Politico and the New York Times. Hicks reportedly refused to answer questions as basic as where her office was located in the White House.

  • "I’m watching obstruction of justice in action," said House Judiciary member Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). "We’re going to go to court. We’re going to win and just make Hope Hicks come back again and actually answer the questions about her tenure in the White House."
  • A transcript of the interview is expected to be released within 48 hours.

Worth noting: Special counsel Robert Mueller explicitly did not exonerate Trump. In his first and only on-camera public statement since he was appointed, Mueller took the rare step of publicly stating at a press conference: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."

Go deeper: White House launches last-ditch effort to block Hope Hicks testimony

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.