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Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former communications director Hope Hicks is returning to the White House as counselor to the president, an administration official confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Hicks was one of President Trump's closest and most loyal aides before she resigned in March 2018, working with Trump dating back to the launch of his campaign in 2015.

  • Hicks was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team multiple times as part of his investigation into Russian interference and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
  • After leaving the White House, Hicks also testified before the House Judiciary Committee, where Democrats claimed White House lawyers blocked her from answering questions 155 times.

Details: Rather than returning to the communications office she once lead, Hicks will report to senior adviser Jared Kushner and work alongside political director Brian Jack. She will work on Kushner's portfolio, which includes the re-election campaign.

Between the lines, per Axios' Jonathan Swan: Bringing back Hicks — somebody Trump has often said he wished would return — is a sign Trump wants to be surrounded by his original loyalists heading into re-election.

What they're saying: "There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump's agenda than Hope Hicks," Kushner said in a statement to the New York Times. "We are excited to have her back on the team."

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  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.