- White House communications director Hope Hicks has come under fire in recent months.
- She had largely to stay out of the headlines for much of her tenure working for President Donald Trump – dating back to his earliest campaign days.
- But recent reports put her at the center of a pair of major White House controversies.
White House communications director Hope Hicks has come under fire upon emerging at the center of a pair of major news stories – the kinds of stories she so successfully eluded for her nearly three years at the top levels of President Donald Trump’s orbit.
Last week, The New York Times reported that Mark Corallo, a former spokesperson for the president’s legal team, planned to tell the special counsel Robert Mueller about a previously undisclosed phone call involving Trump and Hicks.
In the call, Hicks reportedly said emails that showed Donald Trump Jr. sought political dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would “never get out.” The call left Corallo concerned, but Hicks’ lawyer strongly denied the allegation to The Times.
Hicks was interviewed by Mueller’s team in December.
Hicks has somewhat famously kept a low profile as one of Trump’s closest confidants and longest-standing political aides in a cutthroat environment featuring many close advisers who frequently speak with the press and air grievances. But on Wednesday, she popped up again in another scandalous news story.
Hicks, who multiple outlets reported is dating now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, reportedly helped craft the administration’s response to allegations of abuse from Porter’s ex-wives, viewed as a clear conflict of interest. One of Porter’s ex-wives provided The Daily Mail with photos of a black eye that she claimed came from Porter. His other ex-wife provided the publication with a photo of a restraining order she said she filed against Porter in 2010.
Porter has since resigned, though he’s strongly denied the allegations.
Did Hicks craft John Kelly’s response?
White House chief of staff John Kelly came under fire for his initial statement on Porter, calling him a “man of true integrity and honour” who “I can’t say enough good things about.”
“He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional,” he continued. “I am proud to serve alongside him.”
Hicks reportedly had a hand in crafting that statement, which remained as Kelly’s comments on the matter for hours after the jarring photos were revealed and Porter announced his resignation.
He subsequently issued a second statement late Wednesday, saying he was “shocked” by the “new allegations” against Porter.
“There is no place for domestic violence in our society,” Kelly said. “I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition.”
Phillippe Reines, a former top Clinton aide, said after news of Hicks’ involvement with the Porter statement that she “escapes warranted scrutiny.”
Harold Holt can’t be fired. There is no Harold Holt. But if Harold felt familiar and unacceptable here’s why:
Harold Holt is Hope Hicks.
But when her name isn’t changed to a fictional dishonest character in place of the real dishonest Hope Hicks she escapes warranted scrutiny. https://t.co/wlVWmwDNaB
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) February 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former aide to President Barack Obama, ratcheted up her criticism of Hicks, going as far to suggest that her involvement in the statement made her a “complicit abuse denier.”
no they don’t. and John Kelly – wow. and hope hicks – bye girl, v-card revoked bc you are a #complicit abuse denier. you know better even if you don’t act better which is “sad!” or well, tragic….. https://t.co/Y82kecAnWp
— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) February 8, 2018
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