White House communications director Hope Hicks is resigning, the New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement comes just one day after Hicks offered testimony in a roughly nine-hour hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, where she declined to answer questions about the administration concerning events that took place after the 2016 presidential election, according to Democratic lawmakers who said they were "dissatisfied" with her cooperation. Hicks did admit to telling "white lies" for the president, but she insisted she hadn’t lied about any matters pertaining to the Russia investigation, according to the Times.
(Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who broke the news of Hicks' resignation, said on Twitter that “multiple sources” told her Hicks had already planned her departure before the hearing.)
It's just the latest high-profile departure in a White House that has seen triple the amount of turnover that Barack Obama did in his first year in office. Hicks is the fifth person to resign from the communications position since Trump took office in January 2017, and one of at least five White House staffers to resign in the last month alone. Her announcement came just one day after senior White House spokesman Josh Raffel, an ally of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, abruptly resigned, citing plans to return to the private sector. Raffel and Hicks are also reportedly close, having worked together at a Manhattan PR firm earlier in their careers.
The 29-year-old former model, who became one of Trump’s most loyal White House advisers, did not say what she's doing next or when her last day will be, but told the Times she has been considering leaving for several months.
Before her meteoric rise to the White House, Hicks worked for the Trump organization doing public relations for Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand.
The past month, in particular, has been turbulent for Hicks, who was one of the most private members of the administration. Her reported boyfriend, White House aide Rob Porter, was forced to resign after two of his ex-wives came forward with stories of abuse earlier this month, prompting reports that she had helped craft a White House statement defending him. She also faced scrutiny for her involvement in drafting Donald Trump Jr.’s statement about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the Russians.
President Trump issued a personal statement on her resignation, telling the Times that Hicks was “outstanding and has done great work for the last three years.”
“She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” Trump 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.”
This story is developing