White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of the president’s longest and most loyal advisers dating back to the beginning of his presidential campaign, said Wednesday she is resigning from the administration to explore new opportunities.
“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.”
A former model, Hicks, 29, is Trump’s longest serving aide, having worked with him before he announced his candidacy, through the campaign and into the second year of his administration.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump said in a statement provided by the White House. “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’ exact departure is to be determined but will be sometime in the next few weeks, the White House said.
The announcement came a day after Hicks acknowledged to a House intelligence panel that she occasionally told “white lies” for Trump but has not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.
Hicks joined the White House after the campaign, and was promoted to communications director over the summer. The White House credited her with leading strategic messaging for the tax reform effort and working with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to stabilize the press and communications teams.
“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,” chief of staff John Kelly said in a statement.
Kelly added: “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 famously avoided publicity throughout her tenure. As a press aide, she never went on camera but preferred working behind the scenes. It wasn’t until recently – during the scandal over White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s past domestic abuse allegations – that Hicks found herself in the spotlight.