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:
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.