The Florida Republican told CBS News it was that question that led to Hicks saying she told “white lies” on behalf of the White House, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“The whole line of questioning was a trap,” Rooney said. “They sent her down a rabbit hole that she could not get out of. And it was completely unfair.”
But Rep. Eric Swalwell, the Democratic member from California who asked the question, said “It’s a question that is asked of witnesses every day across America — and most people don’t have a hard time answering it.”
“If your response to the question, ‘Have you ever been asked by your boss to lie for him?’ is to take two time outs, we already know the answer to the question,” he said, referring to the fact Hicks asked her legal counsel before responding to the question.
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The exchange comes after the New York Times reported that Hicks said her job working for candidate and then President Donald Trump required her to tell “white lies.”
“I think the fair representation is that it was a setup: Use an extremely gratuitously broad question to make her look bad and ignore the rest of the nine hours that we were down there,” Rooney said.
Hicks announced on Wednesday she would be leaving the Trump administration, a day after her testimony behind closed doors to the Intelligence Committee.