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 aide asked Cabinet agencies to identify anti-Trump appointees: report Trump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in 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 TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals 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.