Just one day after testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee and admitting to telling little “white lies” at the behest of the Trump administration, White House communications director Hope Hicks has announced her resignation, according to a report in The New York Times.
As one of President Trump’s long-standing advisors, Hicks, a former model who was until recently romantically involved with the disgraced wife-beater and former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, has been with the administration since well before Trump even secured the Republican nomination. As communications director, she has been intimately involved in Trumps’s war on mainstream media and the labeling of unfavorable coverage of the administration as “fake news.”
Considered one of the few people who could convince the President to change his mind on issues, Hicks is said to have been thinking about exiting her position for several months now. According to The New York Times:
“She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a perfect moment to leave, according to White House aides.”
While no future plans or exact departure date have been announced, Hicks is expected to leave her post in “the next few weeks.” Unusually for a communications director, she said she had “no words” to indicate her appreciation for Trump, who reacted to the news by releasing a statement about her departure.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Mr. Trump said. “She is as smart and 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 totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”
While Hicks maintained a remarkably low personal profile compared to past communications directors, she was a powerful behind-the-scenes presence in the White House. Trump’s beleaguered Chief of Staff John Kelly had this to say about her:
“I quickly realized what so many have learned about Hope — she is strategic, poised and wise beyond her years. She became a trusted adviser and counselor and did a tremendous job overseeing the communications for the president’s agenda including the passage of historic tax reform. She has served her country with great distinction. To say that she will be missed, is an understatement.”
Hicks reportedly refused to answer questions about her time in the White House and on the transition team at the direction of the executive branch without actually claiming executive privilege in front of the House Intelligence Committee yesterday.
Her answers to questions about exactly what happened on Air Force One once the news about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower broke are highly sought after by both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees (or at least the Democratic members of those bodies) and will be of particular interest to Robert Mueller’s team as well.
No word has been announced yet on who Trump might appoint to take Hicks’ place.