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Hope Hicks admitted she didn’t ask Trump if hush payments happened — before public denial during the 2016 election

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On Thursday, CNN’s Manu Raju reported that one of the topics of discussion in ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks’ closed-door testimony to the House Judiciary Committee was the payoffs to women facilitated by President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who is currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence for tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

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During the course of that questioning, Hicks made a startling admission.

“She was pressed extensively behind closed doors about the hush money payments that occurred in the 2016 campaign that were aimed at apparently covering up those alleged extramarital affairs involving then-candidate Trump, presumably to help his election chances at the time,” said Raju. “She denied having any knowledge about the involvement. She said that to both Stormy Daniels, the former — the adult film actress, as well as the former playboy playmate Karen MacDougal, she said she was not involved with that and had no knowledge when that actually occurred.”

“She issued a statement right before the elections to the Wall Street Journal, saying that these allegations were untrue,” said Raju. “And she was asked about why she made that statement, and she said that she was directed to make a public statement denying that a relationship existed between Mr. Trump and a woman named Karen MacDougal. And then she was asked by Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat on the committee, did you ask the president whether that was true? Hicks responded, ‘Not to my recollection.'”

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Ex-counterintel official explains how lobbying laws could bring down Rudy Giuliani

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former Justice Department counterintelligence official David Laufman explained to Chris Cuomo how President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani could go down for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

"Why does this matter, this area of the law?" asked Cuomo.

"This was a statute enacted in the 1930s in response to pro-Nazi German elements of the United States, engaged in subversive propaganda activities so that the U.S. people or lawmakers when confronted with content, whether lobbying or an op-ed, can make an informed assessment based on who the real party is behind it," explained Laufman. "If it's a foreign party, the American people should be able to take that into account and assigning whatever weight they want."

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Trump’s ‘adolescent’ letter to Turkey stuns ex-White House adviser: ‘It is unprecedented’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," David Gergen, a former White House adviser to four presidents, was astonished by President Donald Trump's letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an warning him "don't be a fool."

"I don't want to laugh about it because it's — this is a letter that was actually sent, at least, he says it was," said host Erin Burnett. "Have you ever seen anything like this?"

"Well, Erin, many presidents write tough letters, nasty letters, angry letters, frustrated letters. The normal presidents then put them in a jar in a file called 'burn before sending,'" said Gergen. "This had such an adolescent quality to it when I read it, I immediately called my researcher, and I said, see if this is fake."

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CNN

Democratic senator burns Trump’s ‘belligerent’ behavior: ‘Something I have never seen in my 27 years in Congress’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) laid into President Donald Trump's behavior during his Syria meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"You were there, you were inside the White House for that meeting," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What unfolded exactly?"

"Well, the president came in and he was in a belligerent state from the beginning," said Menendez. "He smacked down a whole bunch of papers on the table and said, you all asked for this meeting, I reluctantly agreed to it. No one had asked for the meeting. Speaker Pelosi said, Mr. President, we didn't ask for a meeting, we asked for a briefing to understand the consequences of your actions. He said, Well, then let's end the meeting. She said, while I'm here, it's my duty as the speaker to tell you that the House has just passed, I think 362, I forget exactly the number, a resolution opposing your decision and calling upon a strategy for ISIS. He just went on and said that's a political hit job and it went downwards from there."

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