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WH Comms Director Hope Hicks. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

White House communications director, Hope Hicks, one of Trump's longest serving advisers, is going to resign. The New York Times broke the news Wednesday afternoon.

"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."
— Statement from Hope Hicks

Why it matters, from Axios' Jonathan Swan: Trump will miss Hope in the same way he misses his former bodyguard Keith Schiller. Hope is family and has been part of his routine for nearly three years now. Trump increasingly finds himself working in a building populated by people he doesn’t know and doesn’t trust. Some of whom did not even vote for him. 

"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. 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."
Statement from President Trump

Timing: The news comes one day after Hicks testified before the House Intelligence Committee, where she told the panel that she is occasionally forced to tell "white lies" from her work in the administration. But NYT reporter Maggie Haberman, who broke the story, said her reporting shows Hicks' resignation is not tied to the hearing:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Details: Hicks has been contemplating leaving the administration for a while and 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," per Haberman.

More from Swan: The president trusted nobody like Hope (or “Hopey” as he calls her.) It’s become a cliché that he views her like a daughter, but those who’ve watched them together say it’s true.

  • She spent the Reince Priebus / Sean Spicer era of the Trump administration as a wholly separate entity from the communications shop. She was the Trump whisperer — her role had no more definition than that.
  • But when John Kelly took over as chief of staff, Sarah Sanders became press secretary and Hope communications director, she fully integrated with the press shop. She never appeared on TV; always stayed behind-the-scenes. But reporters like me — I’ve dealt with Hope professionally for 2.5 years now —  know her as the person who understands Trump the best. 

Go deeper

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

Who in Congress is talking about Ukraine the most

Data: Quorum; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Mentions of Ukraine or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in congressional statements and social media posts have been on the rise — with nearly 1,000 already this month, according to data from Quorum.

Why it matters: The growing threat of a Russian invasion has been mirrored by a growth in Ukraine-related chatter.