Trump bids farewell to close aide Hope Hicks
Andrew Harrer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Amid a number of high-level departures from the White House in recent weeks, the president bid adieu on Thursday to one of his closest and longest-serving aides: Communications Director Hope Hicks.
As he parted ways with Hicks on her final day at the White House, the president posed with his longtime aide in front of cameras outside the Oval Office before boarding the presidential helicopter. The president was on his way to Ohio to deliver a speech on infrastructure before heading to Florida for an extended Easter weekend.
The goodbye left Hicks tearful, according to a West Wing staffer who joined with Hicks and another staffer in her office following the presidential farewell.
In addition to saying goodbye to the president, Hicks also spent much of her final day in the White House saying goodbye to others in the West Wing she’s worked with over the last 14 months. One staffer said Hicks had a large stack of handwritten thank you notes on her desk Thursday to be delivered to colleagues with whom she’s worked.
Even as Hicks leaves the administration, White House officials on Thursday didn’t rule out the possibility of Hicks coming back to the administration at some point in the future.
“She will be missed,” said one official.
Prior to coming to the White House, Hicks crisscrossed the country with the president during the 2016 campaign, when she served as his press secretary. Hicks was one of the president’s first hires for his presidential campaign in 2015 and has remained by his side these last three years.
When Hick’s resignation from the White House was announced late last month, the president at the time said “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,” Trump said.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” the president said in a statement provided to the media by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
In her own statement, Hicks said: “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”
Hicks resignation was announced soon after the White House was consumed by controversy over allegations of domestic violence by then-staff secretary Rob Porter from two previous ex-wives, allegations Porter has denied. Hicks, who was romantically involved with Porter at the time, helped to orchestrate the administration’s initial statements of support for Porter from senior members of the administration that later had to be walked back. Porter ultimately left his job, but the episode was a several-days-long communications storm for the White House.
Senior officials at the time disputed that Hicks’ resignation was related to her role in the botched response to the Porter controversy.
Hicks leaves the role of communications director with no immediate successor.
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