White House Communications Director Hope Hicks will be leaving her post in the coming weeks, according to a New York Times report Wednesday afternoon.
Her resignation comes just one day after she testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee for eight hours on Tuesday. During the hearing, she reportedly acknowledged to the panel that she has at times lied for President Trump, though added she has never lied about anything related to the investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 election.
Like many other staffers, Hicks joined the Trump campaign with no political experience. She kept a low profile during her time advising Trump as both a candidate and as president, refusing requests for interviews and television appearances. But she has nevertheless found herself entwined in a number of major scandals.
Last month, The New York Times reported on a previously undisclosed conference call, about which Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, intended to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to The New York Times, “Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting — in which the younger Mr. Trump said he was eager to receive political dirt about Mrs. Clinton from the Russians — ‘will never get out.’ That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice, the people said.”
Hicks’ lawyer strongly denied the accusation to the Times, saying in a statement, “As most reporters know, it’s not my practice to comment in response to questions from the media. But this warrants a response,” said the lawyer, Robert P. Trout. “She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false.”
Of course, Trump Jr. himself ended up tweeting out the emails.
During her time working for Trump, Hicks reportedly began dating former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who ultimately left the White House after facing domestic abuse allegations.
When the accusations about Porter first came to light, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly released a statement expressing strong support for Porter.
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him,” the statement said. “He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”
The next day, CNN reported that Hicks was involved in crafting the very supportive statement, regarding the serious accusations of abuse leveled against the man she was reportedly dating.
According to the New York Times, Trump sang Hicks’ praises when she announced her departure from the White House.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump reportedly said. “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.”
*By my count
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 28, 2018
Hicks joins a long list of Trump staffers who have left their jobs or been fired, including another communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted just 10 days; Press Secretary Sean Spicer; former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon; and alleged Nazi sympathizer Seb Gorka. The position of Communications Director has been particularly fraught: in the 14 months since being sworn in, five different people have held the title, the same number as during the eight years of the Obama administration.