- Hope Hicks resigned as the White House communications director on Wednesday.
- She’s one of President Donald Trump’s longest-tenured aides, serving on his campaign since its onset.
- Her resignation came one day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee.
Hope Hicks is resigning as the White House communications director, the White House said Wednesday.
Hicks is one of President Donald Trump’s closest confidants and his longest-tenured aide, serving on his campaign since its onset and working for his daughter Ivanka Trump before that.
Hicks’ resignation came one day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee, where she reportedly said she had occasionally told white lies for the president but never lied about anything consequential related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Maggie Haberman, the New York Times reporter who broke the news of Hicks’ resignation, said Hicks’ last day in the White House would most likely be in the coming weeks, adding that she did not say what her next job would be.
“Hope Hicks departure is NOT about yesterday’s hearing, per multiple sources,” Haberman tweeted. “She had planned it before, had been thinking about it for months. She had informed a very small number of people prior to Hill hearing that she planned to leave.”
The Washington Post cited a senior official as saying Hicks was crying after The Times’ story broke because she had not yet told the White House communications team she planned to leave.
The Post report said Hicks had told friends she could see herself working for Trump again, possibly on his 2020 reelection campaign.
Hicks, a former model, had no political experience before joining the Trump campaign. The Times reported that Hicks told fellow staffers she had accomplished all she could in the job, where she became one of the most prominent figures in the Trump administration.
But her prominence in the White House was not met with a high profile outside, as Hicks rarely made public comments or spoke on camera.
“There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks said in a statement. “I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”
Trump called Hicks “outstanding,” adding that she had “done great work for the last three years.”
“She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” he said in a statement. “I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood.”
On Tuesday, Josh Raffel, a deputy communications director who worked closely with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, announced his departure from the administration.
Hicks “became a trusted adviser and counselor and did a tremendous job overseeing the communications for the President’s agenda,” the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, said in a statement. “She has served her country with great distinction. To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”
Hicks’ departure follows a controversial month
Hicks had come under fire recently regarding the Russia investigation and the White House’s expressing support for a staff member accused of spousal abuse.
The Times reported last month that Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for the president’s legal team, planned to tell Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia’s election interference, about a previously undisclosed phone call involving Trump and Hicks.
Corallo planned to say that in the call to Trump, Hicks said that emails showing that Donald Trump Jr. sought political dirt on the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, would “never get out,” The Times reported. Hicks’ lawyer denied the allegation.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Hicks helped craft the Trump administration’s response to reports of allegations of domestic abuse against Rob Porter, who resigned as the White House staff secretary. Multiple outlets reported that Hicks was dating Porter at the time.
One of Porter’s former wives provided the Daily Mail photos of a black eye she said Porter gave her, while another provided a photo of a protective order she filed against Porter in 2010. Porter has denied the allegations.
“Guys, quit trying to make this a scandal – it’s not,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters on Wednesday. “Don’t try to read more into it than exists. This is something [Hicks] has been thinking about for a while, so maybe it’s surprising for you guys, but it’s not like it happened overnight.”
In June, the White House released salary info for 377 top staffers showing that Hicks was paid $US179,700 annually, among the highest amounts on the list.
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