White House communications director Hope Hicks has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Russian election meddling, The New York Times reports.
The newspaper said Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller is focusing on the response of President Donald Trump and his aides about a Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians.
After the June 2016 meeting, the Times said, Hicks told Trump in a telephone conference call that emails discussing the gathering written by Donald Trump Jr. "will never get out."
"She never said that," Hicks' lawyer told the newspaper.
In the emails, which Trump Jr. himself subsequently released July 11, the president's son expressed interest in the promise of "dirt" about Hillary Clinton.
In a statement to the Times three days before those emails were released, Trump Jr. described the purpose of the meeting as being about Russia's adoption policy.
The Washington Post reported last July that during a flight home from Germany on Air Force One, the president "personally dictated" his son's initial, misleading statement claiming the meeting was to discuss Russian adoption.
As part of Mueller's renewed focus on the clandestine meeting — and the administration's shifting explanations once it was uncovered — the special counsel has summoned former White House legal team spokesman Mark Corallo for an interview, the Times said, citing three people with knowledge of the request.
Corallo is planning to tell the investigators details about the call between Trump and Hicks, the Times' sources said. The exchange left Corallo with concerns that Hicks may have been considering obstructing justice, the sources told the Times.
Corallo resigned last July.
Hicks' lawyer, Robert Trout, told the Times "the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false."
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.