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‘Massive lie to the American people’: Congressman says Trump enlisted Hope Hicks to cover up hush payments

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On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) discussed ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding President Donald Trump — particularly her claim that she did not know whether the denial Trump directed her to give about the hush payments to women during the 2016 campaign was true.

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“I don’t believe her, because that was such a huge fact that she was repeating on behalf of Donald Trump, and it turned out to be a massive lie,” Lieu told anchor Erin Burnett. “When she realized that it was a lie, she was not able to talk about that, because she got that information while she was at the White House, and [the lawyers] objected to everything about her tenure at the White House, but she did confirm that essentially Donald Trump directed her to make this massive lie to American people.”

“155 different times your committee says Hope Hicks did not answer questions yesterday,” said Burnett. “And this went on and on … objection, objection, objection, you were getting no answers.”

“That is correct,” said Lieu. “And I want to say that the unprecedented obstruction by the Trump Administration isn’t just to the Mueller report, it’s to everything. So for example, we want to find out why is the Trump Administration suing to eliminate health care coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, can’t get that. We want to know answers about the census questions, can’t get that. And at Hope Hicks’ testimony, they came up with this absurd claim of absolute immunity, which does not exist — no courts have ever found it. And just today the GOP’s own star witness at a Judiciary hearing said that this absolute immunity does not exist.”

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Dem lawmaker demolishes GOP defense that Trump still did more for Ukraine than Obama

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During the impeachment testimony of State Department officials Laura Cooper and David Hale, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) used his time to dismantle a growing defense of President Donald Trump's apparent use of Ukrainian foreign aid for an extortion scheme: that Obama didn't give Ukraine aid either, so Trump didn't even have to.

"Now as to the justification," said Swalwell. "The justification is that the Obama administration only provided blankets, so the Ukrainians should be grateful, even after being shaken down, that the Trump administration provided more, but the truth, Ms. Cooper, is that under the Obama administration and the European Reassurance Initiative, $175 million were provided from U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Ukrainians, is that right?"

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Trumper Scott Jennings slams Devin Nunes for ‘being caught totally flat-footed’

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It's clear the morning testimony didn't go as well as Republicans had wanted. The concern was evident on the face of House Minority Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), who exchanged glances with the GOP counsel.

Republican Scott Jennings is quick to defend the White House and the GOP, but Wednesday even he was forced to concede his party wasn't prepared for what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified.

CNN host John King noted that the Republican counsel brought up Rudy Giuliani and his business relationships in Ukraine, outside of his work for President Donald Trump.

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CNN

Trump is desperately cherry-picking portions of Sondland’s testimony to ignore the bombshells: CNN correspondent

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins noted how President Donald Trump is desperately trying to focus on the narrow portions of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony that put him in a good light — and ignoring the trove of damning new information against him.

"[Sondland] makes it clear, absolutely, totally discarding what the president and his allies are saying for weeks," said anchor Wolf Blitzer.

"What the White House [is] relying on, and what the president was reading from earlier, was the conversation where he had called the president to ask if there was a quid pro quo, and he said the president got angry and said there was not one and that he didn't want anything from Ukraine," said Collins. "What they are ignoring is what he started his testimony with today, that yes, in relation to the aid to the White House — to the White House call and the White House meeting, there was a quid pro quo. And we should note there has still been no White House meeting for the Ukrainian leader."

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