In yet another shock for the White House , Hope Hicks, President Trump’s communications director and one of his longest-serving advisers, plans to leave her post in the next few weeks.
She announced the decision yesterday (28 February) - the day after a grueling nine-hour interrogation by the House Intelligence committee.
She refused to talk about her times with Trump as president but admitted she told “little white lies” for him. She also claimed she had had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model, joined the Trump team three years ago without any experience in politics.
She became known as Trump's 'Girl Friday', one of the few aides who understood Mr. Trump’s personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views, said the New York Times.
She was said to have more access to the Oval Office than almost any other staff member. Her own office was next door to the president.
Ms. Hicks said that she had “no words” to express her gratitude to the president, who issued his own statement.
“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.”
Ms. Hicks’s first association with the Trump family was working with Mr. Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, on her personal apparel and licensing brand about six years ago.
But the Trump family trusted her, and that was a crucial factor in her emergence as a key aide to the president, who also valued her loyalty, said the Times.
She was involved in a number of controversies over the past year, including key aspects of the investigations by Congress and the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, as well as the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.
Recently it was reported that she had dated Rob Porter a White House staff secretary who resigned over allegations that he had abused his two former wives.
The NYT quoted sources who said Ms.Hicks’s decision to leave was unrelated to her appearance before the House committee. They said she had told a small group of people in the days before the session that she had planned to resign, partly because she never liked Washington and chose not to try to pretend to.