On February 27th White House Communications Director Hope Hicks appeared before the House Intelligence Committee. She didn’t say much, refusing to answer most questions, but she did acknowledge telling “white lies” to the American people on behalf of the President. A rather remarkable admission from an Administration that has regularly slammed the media as “the enemy of the people” for its supposed lies.
Hicks openly admitting to lying on behalf of the President of the United States begs the question of what uncolored lies she may have told. In this regard some obvious candidates stand out.
On November 11, 2016 Hicks flatly and broadly denied any foreign contacts at all during the Trump campaign. She sweepingly stated: “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”
This broad denial has been disproven many times over as the list of proven Trump campaign officials who met with Russians is now known to include Donald Trump Jr., Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Perhaps most damning, George Papadopoulos secretly met with Russians to discuss getting dirt on Hillary Clinton related to her emails. Further, he did so with the full knowledge and encouragement of his superiors in the Trump Campaign.
In July 2017 the NY Times broke the story of the June 9, 2016 meeting between Russian agents and Jared Kushner, Trump Junior and Paul Manafort. The meeting was set up for the explicit purpose of getting email dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russians. When the story broke Trump Junior responded with a statement falsely representing the meeting as only about Russian adoption policy.
This dishonest response would later become the focus of investigation itself as questions arose as to who wrote it. It was later be reported President Trump himself dictated it overruling recommendations of White House counsel for a more forthcoming response. It would later be reported that White House Counsel Mark Corallo urged are more forthcoming response arguing the emails between Trump Jr, Kushner and the Russians might eventually come out. In a conference call Hope Hicks allegedly said the emails “will never get out.” This left Corallo with the belief that Hicks may be obstructing justice. Corallo made contemporary notes about it and resigned less than two weeks later.
With Hicks’ help the lie would go forward. Unknown to Hicks, not only would the emails she said “will never get out” get out, but the NY Times already had them.
I’m not sure what is “white” about these lies directed at concealing facts related to Trump Campaign contacts with Russians that is the subject of a major investigation for which there are now five convictions and 14 indictments. These are not the feel good lies of the “oh, you look like you lost weight” variety.
I suppose if this administration was going to admit to any lies, they would declare them white lies. In the words of Austin O’Malley, “those who believe it is all right to tell little white lies soon grow color blind.”