- The White House has been plagued by rumours of romantic relationships between staff members.
- Most recently, multiple outlets reported that the White House communications director, Hope Hicks, was dating the staff secretary, Rob Porter – and CNN reported that she helped write a statement supporting Porter after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced.
- That’s just one of several rumoured relationships associated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and White House.
As the US has reckoned with the line between romance and harassment in the workplace, Donald Trump’s campaign and White House have been plagued by reports of relationships between staffers.
Most recently, reports emerged last week that the White House communications director, Hope Hicks, was dating the secretary Rob Porter.
On Wednesday, Porter resigned after two of his ex-wives publicly accused him of physical and emotional abuse. Sources later told CNN that Hicks was involved in crafting an official statement supporting Porter.
The reports highlight the potential for problems caused by relationships between staffers in the most powerful political office in the US. However, the pair is far from the first of its kind in the Trump political machine.
Here’s a roundup of the rumoured relationships in Trump’s campaign and White House.
Hope Hicks and Rob Porter
This week, the Daily Mail and The Intercept detailed allegations from Porter’s two ex-wives that he was abusive during their relationships. The reports included photos of black eyes that Colbie Holderness, who was married to Porter for five years, said Porter gave her.
Porter resigned Wednesday. He called the allegations “outrageous” and “simply false.”
Hicks reportedly helped craft a statement on Tuesday from the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, supporting Porter.
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honour, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Kelly’s statement said. “He is a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”
Hicks and Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager
Hicks has previously been linked romantically to Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager.
Early in the presidential campaign, Hicks, then a spokeswoman for Trump, developed a reputation for having a more under-the-radar style than her frequently bombastic coworkers. One of the few public cracks in Hicks’ facade was a public screaming match with Lewandowski in May 2016, the New York Post reported.
The rumours resurfaced last month with the publication of Michael Wolff’s explosive but highly contested tell-all, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which said Lewandowski and Hicks had an on-again-off-again relationship during the campaign.
According to Wolff, Hicks told Trump she wanted to help Lewandowski, who many criticised for his aggressive style, after he left the campaign in June 2016.
“Trump, who otherwise seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way, looked up and said, ‘Why? You’ve already done enough for him. You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have,'” Wolff wrote.
In Lewandowski’s book, “Let Trump Be Trump,” he described Hicks as “smart and private, with a nearly photographic memory.”
A.J. Delgado and Jason Miller, campaign advisers
Delgado and Miller, two high-profile Trump campaign staffers who were known for supporting the candidate in TV appearances, had a secret relationship during the campaign.
Delgado told The Atlantic that the relationship deteriorated soon after the election when she told Miller she was pregnant. Miller was married at the time, though Delgado said she believed he was separated.
Delgado recalled Miller saying the news was “going to be extra awkward for me to handle” because his wife was also expecting a baby.
Miller was appointed White House communications director in December but turned down the role two days later, after Delgado sarcastically tweeted her congratulations to “the baby-daddy.”
On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported that Miller told people he didn’t want to take a job in the White House because he “needs to earn a private-sector income to make child support payments” to Delgado, who later slammed him on Twitter.
“I’d also really love to know who is receiving ‘child support payments that req private-sector-level income’ bc it sure as heck isn’t my son,” she said.
“Miller’s Comms Dir role last Dec was not revoked because of a mere ‘extramarital affair,'” she continued. “He (a) impregnated (b) a subordinate (c) got her pregnant (d) while his own wife was six months pregnant.”
Donald Trump and a mystery woman
Trump’s reported dalliances have been tabloid fodder for years. Now the rumours are following him to the White House.
In an interview with HBO’s Bill Maher last month, Wolff suggested he believed Trump was having an affair but said he didn’t have “ultimate proof.”
“You just have to read between the lines,” Wolff said. “It’s toward the end of the book.”
Some people theorised that Wolff was referring to Nikki Haley, the US’s ambassador to the United Nations. Haley shot down rumours in an interview with Politico, calling them “highly offensive” and “disgusting.”
Others said they thought Wolff was referring to Hicks, pointing to a passage describing her as “devoted to accommodating” Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump has said Wolff’s book is “phony” and that his reporting can’t be trusted.
Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox News anchor
While this relationship wasn’t between two Trump staffers, Scaramucci’s romantic life deserves an honorable mention – specifically, his rumoured relationship with Guilfoyle.
In October, a few months after Scaramucci’s 11-day stint as the White House communications director, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that the pair had been seen “house-hunting together in Manhattan and of a romantic trip to Rome last month.”
On July 29, two days before Scaramucci was fired from the White House, the Post reported that his wife, Deidre Ball, had filed for divorce “after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.”
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