Hope Hicks, former Trump aide, returns to the White House as counselor


Hope Hicks, one of Donald Trump’s most trusted and longest-serving aides, is returning to the White House as his re-election campaign moves into high gear.

Hicks will be serving as a counselor to Trump, working with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

She was previously White House communications director before she departed in October 2018 to become an executive vice-president and chief communications officer for Fox.

Earlier that year, while the Mueller investigation was examining allegations that the Trump 2016 election campaign had colluded with Moscow to help his cause, Hicks acknowledged to a US congressional committee that she had occasionally told “white lies” for Donald Trump.

But she insisted she had not lied about anything relevant to the investigation, according to those present at the time for her nine-hour closed-door testimony.

Hicks had refused to talk about her time working for the White House and had only discussed working for Trump prior to his election – despite questions about any involvement in the drafting of untrue statements about Russian contacts, while consulting with the president aboard Air Force One.

Unlike many former senior members of the Trump administration who have departed the president’s side either by being directly fired or otherwise ousted, Hicks left with warm tributes from Trump.

Throughout Trump’s 2016 campaign and relentlessly chaotic early presidency, she had been a constant presence at his side, outside of his family.

When the now 31-year-old Hicks, a former Ralph Lauren model, became the White House communications director, she worked from a tiny office outside the Oval Office as a gatekeeper and sounding board for the president.

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Her judgment was called into question in early 2018 over Rob Porter, a senior White House aide accused of physically abusing two ex-wives and whom Hicks had reportedly been dating.

Publicly, Trump offered his support for Hicks, saying: “Hope is absolutely fantastic. She was with the campaign from the beginning, and I could not ask for anything more. Hope is smart, very talented and respected by all.”

But in private, the president was believed to have issued rare criticism of a woman who, by some estimates, was the most influential figure in the administration after Trump himself, and perhaps some in his immediate family.

At issue was whether Hicks relaxed her judgment owing to her relationship with Porter.

White House officials said Hicks knew that an ex-girlfriend of Porter’s had told aides that both of Porter’s ex-wives had said he was violent. Hicks reportedly continued to see him and did not tell the president. Porter denied the allegations against him.



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