Hicks is the White Home communications director and one in all President Trump’s closest aides. But she has by no means given a TV interview. She is never 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 particular person to be: In the midst of not one however two White Home scandals.
Hicks, 29, has been relationship 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 Day by day Mail known as for remark earlier than publishing its story on Tuesday, Hicks helped defend Porter — sources informed 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 have been printed 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 also 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 number of the president’s interviews.
She is commonly seen coming and happening 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 tough to imitate.
Hicks’ attractiveness and gracious demeanor — a latest 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 Day by day Mail printed paparazzi-like photos of Hicks and Porter collectively, claiming they have been “canoodling” at the back of 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 sort 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 may 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 may 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 ebook.
In “Fireplace and Fury,” he says Trump normally handled Hicks “in a protecting and even paternal means.” However he additionally quotes the president saying to Hicks that she was “the perfect piece of tail [Lewandowski will] ever have,” a reference to a reported relationship between Hicks and ex-campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski.
Hicks and Lewandowski have been reportedly seen having a public screaming match in Manhattan in Could 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 manner: “Mr. Trump sat her down and stated, ‘That is your new job.’ It was a shocker.”
Trump formally entered the presidential race a number 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 received, he appointed her “director of strategic communications,” a brand new title for a brand new sort 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 seems to be like a really completely different job than the one they held.
“The large 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 group are a presenting a method to debate after which implement.”
Nuzzi, now the Washington correspondent for New York journal, informed CNN that “you may’t decide Hope Hicks the way in which you’d decide a typical political PR skilled.”
“The explanation 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 in some unspecified time in the future she’d discover herself on the middle of some scandal or different, however I feel it is a testomony to the sort of self-discipline she has that it took so lengthy for it to occur,” Nuzzi stated.
CNNMoney (New York) First printed February eight, 2018: 2:19 PM ET