Jan. 6 Committee Gets Major Longtime Top Trump Advisor to Testify: Hope Hicks
Hope Hicks, the former top Trump advisor who served as White House Counselor to the President and was once called “Trump’s right-hand woman,” will reportedly testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. It is a major “get” for the Committee, which as of June had already interviewed over 1000 people in its investigation.
Hicks, a former fashion model who first entered the Trump circle by working with Ivanka Trump, moved on to working for the Trump Organization, and then the Trump 2016 campaign, and finally, the Trump White House. She served various high-level, high-visibility roles, including White House director of strategic communications, a role created for her; White House communications director; and finally as an aide to Jared Kushner, and Counselor to the President. That final role was questioned by some who saw it as a taxpayer-funded campaign job.
“Hope Hicks, a former top Trump White House aide, is scheduled to sit for a transcribed interview with the House Jan. 6 committee today, per person familiar,” reports New York Times congressional correspondent Luke Broadwater. NBC News’ Ali Vitali confirms the report.
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“Hicks has been there through it all,” CNN reported in 2018, one month before she resigned, noting it took her just “seven years to go from college graduate to White House communications director.”
“The 29-year-old was one of Trump’s first hires as he assembled a lean team of aides who would launch his improbable presidential campaign,” CNN added. “From then, until his election, she was a constant presence by his side – traveling to nearly every rally, hovering within earshot during interviews and always prepared to type out a bombastic tweet as dictated by her boss.”
Hicks returned to the Trump administration in March of 2020, in a tremendous display of loyalty, but according to The New York Times she refused to support his election denialism in the immediate aftermath of the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
“Hope Hicks, long one of his closest advisers, told him it was time to move on,” the Times reported in June.
“’Well, Hope doesn’t believe in me,’ Mr. Trump responded bitterly. ‘No, I don’t,’ she replied. ‘Nobody’s convinced me otherwise.’ She disappeared in the final weeks of the administration,” The Times claimed.
Last week the Committee formally issued a subpoena to Donald Trump, including a lengthy letter supporting its decision to call him, stating, “you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”
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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.
The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.
“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee, www.teamherschel.com, five separate times.”
The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.
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The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.
“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”
CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.
You can read the letter below or at this link.
In a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee admonished him for soliciting campaign contributions five times during a media interview in the Russell Senate office building. It is against Senate rules to solicit campaign donations on Capitol grounds pic.twitter.com/amc5ipcosw
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 23, 2023
‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid
The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.
National Security Council’s John Kirby suggests the U.S. would consider economic punishments if Uganda’s law criminalizing LGBTQ people goes into effect:
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance.” pic.twitter.com/hWrRrHqd6q
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”
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“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”
WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre denounces the Ugandan parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing LGBTQ people:
“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights … The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.” pic.twitter.com/WSzCY5Vlq4
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg
Days after he wrongly claimed he would be arrested and urged his supporters to “protest,” Donald Trump unleashed a vicious and antisemitic attack against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and philanthropist and donor George Soros, leading “Morning Joe” Scarborough on MSNBC to declare the ex-president has gone “full fascist” and even “full Nazi.”
“I mean he’s just going full Nazi here, full fascist,” Scarborough said Thursday morning, just minutes after Trump’s remarks posted on social media.
“You’re doing the whole Jewish international banker thing and and dehumanizing him as an ‘animal,’ calling him an ‘animal,'” Scarborough said.
“That’s ugly,” Mika Brzezinski added.
“And that’s like like straight out of the playbook. Yeah, that’s really that’s really ugly. Yeah, it’s really interesting to see exactly what’s happened with Bragg. He hasn’t taken the bait.”
READ MORE: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Thursday morning, in an all-caps rant, Trump called District Attorney Bragg a “Soros backed animal who just doesn’t care about right or wrong no matter how many people are hurt.”
Scarborough was not being hyperbolic when he said Trump had gone “full Nazi.”
“This is no legal system, this is the Gestapo, this is Russia and China, but worse. Disgraceful!”
The Gestapo were Adolf Hitler’s Nazi secret police.
In a separate post Thursday morning, after his attack on Bragg, Trump again appeared to telegraph a call for violence, writing: “Everybody knows I’m 100% innocent, including Bragg, but he doesn’t care. He is just carrying out the plans of the radical left lunatics. Our country is being destroyed, as they tell us to be peaceful!”
It is possible the grand jury, which is meeting Thursday, could vote on an indictment of Trump. Some say any potential vote would not come before next week.
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