Hicks is the White Home communications director and certainly one of President Trump’s closest aides. But she has by no means given a TV interview. She isn’t quoted in any respect. She is the yin to Trump’s attention-grabbing yang.
And proper now she’s in a horrible place for a press-shy individual to be: In the course of not one however two White Home scandals.
Hicks, 29, has been courting Rob Porter, the Trump aide who resigned Wednesday after his two ex-wives accused him of home abuse.
The White Home initially tried to climate the storm. When the Every day Mail known as for remark earlier than publishing its story on Tuesday, Hicks helped defend Porter — sources advised CNN that she labored with different aides to craft a supportive assertion that was put out in chief of employees John Kelly’s title.
The administration continued to defend Porter on Wednesday, even after photographs of accidents from the alleged abuse had been revealed by information shops. Press secretary Sarah Sanders stated Porter wouldn’t be leaving instantly. Observers questioned whether or not Hicks’ relationship with Porter was an element.
By the top of the day Wednesday, because the scandal deepened, sources stated Porter could be gone as quickly as Thursday.
In the meantime, Hicks can be caught up in Robert Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice and different issues.
Hicks declined to remark for this story.
As communications director, Hicks works behind the scenes on the White Home, guiding press protection and facilitating a few of the president’s interviews.
She is usually seen coming and occurring Trump’s journeys, however is rarely heard. Most Individuals have by no means heard her voice. “SNL” tried to impersonate her final Saturday, however the bit fell flat as a result of Hicks is so elusive and subsequently troublesome to imitate.
Hicks’ attractiveness and gracious demeanor — a current City & Nation profile known as her “unfailingly well mannered and deferential” — make her a frequent topic of D.C. gossip.
Days earlier than publishing the allegations in opposition to Porter, the Every day Mail revealed paparazzi-like photos of Hicks and Porter collectively, claiming they had been “canoodling” behind a cab.
True? Unfaithful? Hicks did not say. She doesn’t tweet. She doesn’t search the TV limelight.
This cloak of thriller has given rise to a type of fan fiction on Twitter from these on the left. They think about Keri Russell or Allison Williams sometime enjoying Hicks in a film about how she sabotaged Trump and saved the nation.
Some journalists have additionally raised the prospect that she would possibly flip in opposition to Trump. Michael Wolff, the creator of “Fireplace and Fury,” tweeted a prediction on Wednesday that “Hope Hicks turns into the John Dean of the Trump White Home.” Dean is the lawyer who helped thwart Watergate investigators after which turned on Richard Nixon by revealing the president’s function within the cover-up
Wolff’s tweet could be chalked as much as wishful considering. It is unclear how a lot he interacted with Hicks whereas spending time contained in the White Home for his gossipy e-book.
In “Fireplace and Fury,” he says Trump often handled Hicks “in a protecting and even paternal manner.” However he additionally quotes the president saying to Hicks that she was “the most effective piece of tail [Lewandowski will] ever have,” a reference to a reported relationship between Hicks and ex-campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski.
Hicks and Lewandowski had been reportedly seen having a public screaming match in Manhattan in Might 2016, an incident that landed them within the New York Post — a uncommon little bit of unfavorable press for Hicks.
Hicks, a former mannequin and P.R. skilled, had no political expertise earlier than Trump tapped her to work on his presidential marketing campaign in early 2015. However Trump knew her by her work doing P.R. and different initiatives for Ivanka Trump.
Hicks’ mom, Caye, recounted her hiring this fashion: “Mr. Trump sat her down and stated, ‘That is your new job.’ It was a shocker.”
Trump formally entered the presidential race a couple of months later.
“Keep in mind, she’s the longest-serving aide” Trump has with him within the White Home, stated Olivia Nuzzi, who profiled Hicks for GQ magazine in 2016.
When Trump gained, he appointed her “director of strategic communications,” a brand new title for a brand new type of president. Hicks has been the gatekeeper for many — although not all — of his interviews.
Trump went by two communications administrators in his first seven months. After Anthony Scaramucci was ousted, Hicks took on the job.
However veterans of previous administrations say it appears like a really completely different job than the one they held.
“The massive distinction is Donald Trump thinks of himself as his personal communications director,” stated Jen Psaki, who was President Obama’s final communications director.
“In a typical White Home, your job is to supervise the event of the technique and the message and to see across the nook for alternatives and thorns on the horizon,” Psaki stated. “On this case, it seems to be extra of a relationship the place Trump is dictating tweets and statements from the Oval, not a relationship the place Hope and the communications staff are a presenting a method to debate after which implement.”
Nuzzi, now the Washington correspondent for New York journal, advised CNN that “you possibly can’t choose Hope Hicks the best way you’d choose a typical political PR skilled.”
“The rationale why she’s endured all through the hiring and firing and public scandals and personal dramas and backstabbing is as a result of she’s smarter than anybody else who’s handed by Trump’s orbit,” Nuzzi remarked.
All of which contributes to the sense that Hicks is an enigma.
“It was inevitable that sooner or later she’d discover herself on the middle of some scandal or different, however I feel it is a testomony to the type of self-discipline she has that it took so lengthy for it to occur,” Nuzzi stated.
CNNMoney (New York) First revealed February eight, 2018: 2:19 PM ET