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WH says it is 'cooperating' with House Russia probe, despite Hicks stonewalling

The White House said Tuesday it is cooperating with Congress’s Russia investigation, despite communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump pushes back on reports of chaos in White House: ‘Very calm and calculated’ The Memo: Kelly said to be losing influence with Trump Trump touts Rasmussen poll results: 'Higher than Cheatin’ Obama’ MORE’s reported refusal to answer certain questions from the House Intelligence Committee.

"I'm not going to comment on any individual's interactions with the committee,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked whether the White House directed Hicks not to answer certain questions.

“We are cooperating because, as the president said repeatedly, there is no collusion," Sanders said. 

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Intelligence panel members from both parties said Hicks declined to answer questions about events and conversations that took place since President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems add five candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ program White House notifies Russia that no new sanctions are coming: report Senators push HHS to negotiate lower prices on opioid overdose reversal drug MORE’s inauguration.

The move frustrated lawmakers who are probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign cooperated with the effort.  

Hicks is one of Trump’s longest-serving aides, having worked with the Trump family since before the real estate mogul entered the presidential race, making her testimony valuable to congressional investigators.

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon also declined to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee about the period after Trump's inauguration and the transition, arguing the White House might want to invoke executive privilege about those discussions.