On Wednesday afternoon, the White House confirmed that communications director Hope Hicks will be departing her position in the next few weeks. A set date has not been determined yet.
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman first broke the story.
“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.”
Hicks is one of President Donald Trump’s closest and most senior advisors. She has been with Trump since starting to work for the Trump Organization in 2014 and was one of the first staffers on his presidential campaign, joining it on day one. In the White House, she was originally appointed as Director of Strategic Communications, a position she was the first to hold. She was later named Communication Director following the departure of Anthony Scaramucci.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” President Trump said in a statement. “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.”
Hicks was President Trump’s fifth communications director and the job has seen a good deal of upheaval. Jason Miller was originally appointed as Communications Director but stepped aside from the role two days later (before the Inauguration). As a result, then-press secretary Sean Spicer filled the role until Mike Dubke arrived but he then resigned and Spicer took over the position on an acting basis. Anthony Scaramucci was then named to the position, but resigned after several days. Hicks then took over his job in the interim basis before it was announced that she would be promoted to communications director, making it permanent. Between her acting and permanent tenure, Hicks has served for almost two hundred days and is President Trump’s only communication director, so far, to make it to triple digits in terms of days.
Hicks testified for roughly nine hours before the House Intelligence Committee the day before. The New York Times reported that Hicks acknowledged sometimes telling white lies during her work. That revelation led to its own controversy, but the White House says that her departure is unrelated to it and has been discussed for some time.
“When I became Chief of Staff, I quickly realized what so many have learned about Hope she is strategic, poised, and wise beyond her years,” White House chief of staff John Kelly said in a statement. “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 had a reputation as one of the quietest communications directors to ever serve. She did not grant interviews and rarely spoke in public. As a result, she has been able to fly under the radar for most of her tenure. However, a recent controversy threw her into the spotlight after it was reported that Hope Hicks was involved with the White House’s response to domestic abuse allegations against White House social secretary Rob Porter who she was dating at the time.