Add another name to the long list of former Donald Trump administration senior staffers. Hope Hicks, the White House communications director who has been part of Trump’s inner circle since before he launched his presidential bid in June 2015, announced her resignation today — one day after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
The New York Times is reporting today that Hicks, a 29-year-old ex-model who had no political experience before joining the Trump campaign, had been comtemplating an exit for months.
No tweet from Trump yet, but he issued a statement about her exit, saying: “Hope is outstanding and has done great for me the last three years. She is as smart and as thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I told her I fully understood. I’m sure we will work together in the future.”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said of Hicks’ exit: “She has served her country with great distinction. To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”
Said Hicks in a statement: “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the president and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”
Hicks, who is very close to the president, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, spent eight hours testifying before the House intel panel Tuesday. By all accounts she hardly was forthcoming — declining to answer questions while admitting under oath that Trump sometimes required her to tell “white lies” to the press. It was an extraordinary admission for a White House communications chief.
Hicks’ announcement comes one day after Josh Raffel, Kushner’s White House communications director and a former head of PR at Blumhouse, resigned his post.
Hicks has been described as a “Trump whisperer” — someone who “gets” him and has an idea of how to manage him. She has been at the candidate-turned-POTUS’ side throughout this wild 2 1/2-year ride, providing counsel and having a desk just outside the Oval Office.
She has been in the spotlight recently as Special Counsel Robert Mueller looks into the 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and multiple Russians. At issue is Hicks’ role in a statement to the media by Trump Jr. that said the topic of that meeting was Americans’ adoptions of Russian children. But the younger Trump tweeted 13 months later that its real purpose was to learn about dirt the Russians allegedly had on Dem cadidate Hillary Clinton.
It then was reported that President Trump actually was behind the drafting of that release, and Hicks was aboard Air Force One with him when it was written.