Trump aide Hope Hicks testifies in Congressional Russia probe

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Hope Hicks, a close aide to President Donald Trump, arrived at the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning for what could be several hours of testimony in its investigation of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

White House communications director Hicks was Trump's spokeswoman during the 2016 election campaign. Committee members told reporters they did not know before her testimony whether she would answer their questions, or refuse by invoking executive privilege.

Other Trump aides, such as former White House adviser Steve Bannon, have declined to answer many of the committee's questions for that reason.

RELATED: Hope Hicks out and about

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Hope Hicks out and about
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks listens as President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau host a meeting with women business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks on the tarmac after the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks on the tarmac after the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks on the tarmac after the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks is pictured during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. October 29 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegr's
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump's communications director Hope Hicks (L) crosses paths with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (R) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. Photo taken July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (R) walk to board Marine One as US President Donald Trump departs the White House for Harrisburg, Pensylvannia, where he will hold a rally on the 100th day of his presidency on April 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a 'hallmark of our democracy.' (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: Hope Hicks, left center, and Kellyanne Conway, right center, attend a press briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks talks on her phone in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks (R) stands onstage at the end of an event with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his newly selected vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, July 16, 2016 in New York City. On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he chose Pence to be his running mate. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: (L to R) Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, and Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, look on as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House, January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday that he will reveal his 'unbelievably highly respected' pick to replace the late Supreme Court Antonin Scalia on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House as he heads to a morning worship service on Inauguration day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(L-R) White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Senior Advisor Stephen Miller follow U.S. President Donald Trump (not seen) on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (C) and White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino (L) arrive at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Hope Hicks, communication director for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is pictured following a news conference at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
(L-R) Donald Trump's White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, Senior Counselor Steve Bannon and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway arrive for the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool
Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York, U.S. January 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks steps off off Air Force One upon arrival in Morristown, New Jersey on June 30, 2017. Hicks is travelling with US President Donald Trump who is heading to Bedminster, New Jersey to spend the weekend at his golf club. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway (L) and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks are seen on the tarmac of Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey on June 9, 2017. Conway and Hicks are traveling with US President Donald Trump to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (AFP OUT) White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Senior Counselor to the President and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade following a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss many issues, including trade and security ties and will hold a joint press confrence later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey on June 9, 2017. Hicks is traveling with US President Donald Trump to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House as he heads to a morning worship service on Inauguration day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, incoming White House Director of Strategic Communications, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. President-elect Donald Trump won't end the onslaught of posts on Twitter that fed his unconventional campaign, even after taking on the formalized duties of the Oval Office later this month. Bloomberg: Peter Foley/Pool via Bloomberg
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks (C) departs as she and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (L) stand on the sidelines while U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (L) and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks stand on the sidelines as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks watches as US President Donald Trump takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: The White House staff including Sarah Sanders, right, and Hope Hicks, second from right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a listening session with high school students and teachers in the State Dining Room at The White House on February 21, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, White House communications director, attends a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Trump during the meeting praised his former staff secretary, Rob Porter, for performing well in the White House and cautioned reporters to keep in mind that he has denied allegations of domestic violence. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks (R) and White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway listen as US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director, in the stands during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, listen as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson leads a prayer during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn (L) and Strategic Communications Director Hope Hicks leave the White House October 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Cohn and Hicks are accompanying President Donald Trump to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to 'give remarks on tax reform.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks steps off off Air Force One upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey on September 15, 2017. Hicks was traveling with US President Donald Trump who is heading to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrive on the South Lawn of the White House for a memorial service for the 9/11 terrorist attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks down the stairs after US President Donald Trump disembarked from Air Force Oner at Morristown Municipal Airport on September 29, 2017 in Morristown, New Jersey, as he travels to spend the weekend at his golf course in Bedminster. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: (L to R) Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders walk through the lobby at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is scheduled to have a meeting on infrastructure issues and deliver a statement to the press following the meeting. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks steps off off Air Force One upon arrival in Morristown, New Jersey on June 30, 2017. Hicks is travelling with US President Donald Trump who is heading to Bedminster, New Jersey to spend the weekend at his golf club. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey on June 9, 2017. Hicks is traveling with US President Donald Trump to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 7: From left to right: Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland, and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks walk on the South Lawn of the White House on May 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is returning from a weekend trip to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: White House Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway (L), stand with White House Communications Director, Hope Hicks, during a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and King Abdullah II of Jordan, at the White House April 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump held talks on Middle East peace process and other bilateral issues with King Abdullah II. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: (L-R) White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway; Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications; and Omarosa Manigault, Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, listen during a daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room February 14, 2017 at the White House in Washington, DC. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer discussed on various topics including the resignation of Michael Flynn from his position as National Security Adviser. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (AFP OUT) White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Senior Counselor to the President and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade following a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss many issues, including trade and security ties and will hold a joint press confrence later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks steps off Air Force One on February 6, 2017 upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: Rudy Giuliani greets White House aide Hope Hicks, on the West Front of the Capitol before her boss Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a 'hallmark of our democracy.' (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
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Hicks arrived at about 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) for a closed door session with the panel, which is conducting one of three main congressional investigations of allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election to boost Trump's chances of victory, and whether his associates colluded with Russia.

She came through a back entrance, according to congressional aides, and thus was not seen by reporters.

Shortly before her scheduled testimony on Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to comment on the investigation, tweeting "WITCH HUNT."

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, and Moscow has denied attempting to meddle in the U.S. campaign. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio)

RELATED: GQ lists the 50 most powerful people in Trump's DC

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GQ lists the 50 most powerful people in Trump's DC
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GQ lists the 50 most powerful people in Trump's DC

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks - Perplexing Power

Click here to read GQ's full piece.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence - Ascendant Power

Click here to read GQ's full piece.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Special Counsel Robert Mueller - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer - Enduring Power

Click here to read GQ's full piece.

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt - Surreptitious Power

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron - Ascendant Power

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(Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly - Precarious Power

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Corry Bliss, Head of the Congressional Leadership Fund - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the Freedom Caucus - Enduring Power

Click here to read GQ's full piece.​​​​​​​

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

White House Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller - Perplexing Power

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(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

US Defence Minister James Mattis - Enduring Power

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(Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Fox & Friends - Perplexing Power

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(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - Surreptitious Power

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(Photo credit should read EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)

Journalist Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for the New York Times - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Julia Reinhart/ Getty Images)

U.S. Justice Anthony Kennedy - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Billionaire Rebekah Mercer - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and a prominent Democratic fundraiser - Ascendant Power

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REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Rachel Maddow - Enduring Power

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(Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Google Vice President of Public Policy Susan Molinari - Enduring Power

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) - Ascendant Power

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REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos - Ascendant Power

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REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission - Ascendant Power

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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon - Precarious Power

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

White House personnel director Johnny DeStefano - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Not pictured) Chris Ruddy, C.E.O. of Newsmax - Perplexing Power

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Pictured: Chief Washington Correspondent, Newsmax, George Polk Award Winner Ronald Kessler speaks during CNN's Media Conference For The Election of the President 2008 at the Time Warner Center on October 14, 2008 in New York City. 16950_5054.JPG (Photo by Joe Kohen/WireImage)

CNN's Jake Tapper - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. - Enduring Power

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(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former U.S. President Barack Obama - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo - Precious Power

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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Indivisible Founders Leah Greenberg & Ezra Levin - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

GOP lobbyist Juleanna Glover - Enduring Power

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(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Fortune)

Federalist Society President Leonard A. Leo (right) - Surreptitious Power

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(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

(Not pictured) Wayne Berman, Businessman - Enduring Power

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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico - Ascendant Power

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(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Russian President Vladimir Putin - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

President of EMILY's List Stephanie Schriock - Ascendant Power

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REUTERS/Scott Audette

White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino - Perplexing Power

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REUTERS/Jim Bourg/Files

Pod Save America - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins - Enduring Power

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REUTERS/Joel Page

Jesse Watters host of 'The Five' - Ascendant Power

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(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Alexander Ovechkin - Surreptitious Power

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REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. - Enduring Power

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Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Emerson Collective Founder and President Laurene Powell Jobs - Ascendant Power 

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(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Managing Director Mickael Damelincourt - Surreptitious Power

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(Photo Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

José Andrés, Restaurateur - Enduring Power

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(Photo by Joseph Victor Stefanchik for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen - Precarious Power

Click here to read GQ's full piece.​​​​​​​

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

"The myriad ghosts of Trump's political past" - Perplexing Power

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REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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