Donald Trump’s only female aide and communications director for the White House, Hope Hicks has today resigned following an admission to the US committee of legislators that she sometimes tells ‘white lies’ for the President.
Hicks was interviewed for nine hours by the panel, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and any contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
After extended consultation with her lawyers, Hicks insisted she had not lied about matters pertaining to these investigations or possible links to Trump associates. She also declined to implicate any other figures from the Trump campaign or the White House in the matter.
Hicks similarly refused to to answer questions about the presidential transition or her tenure in the White House, telling legislators that she had been asked by the White House only to discuss her time on the campaign– a recurring stonewall for investigators.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist declined to provide similar testimony during his hearing late last year.
Hicks has been a permanent member of the Trump camp and is viewed by investigators as a valuable insider. Political reporter for the Washington Post, Robert Costa described her on Twitter this morning as Trump’s ‘gatekeeper’ and heavily involved ‘in his rise to power.’
The departure of Hope Hicks is the end of an era in President Trump’s inner circle. Outside of family, no one has been more involved in his rise to power on a day-to-day basis. A media-driven politician’s chief media strategist and gatekeeper.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) February 28, 2018
She oversaw the firing of James Comey as FBI director in May and was also involved in drafting a statement in July which responded to questions about a meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and top Trump campaign officials in 2016.
Hicks refused to weigh in on either of these issues during her interview.
Donald Trump issued a statement shortly after Hicks announced her resignation, citing she had accomplished what she had set out to, in her role with the White House.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” the President said.
In her own statement, Hicks declared there were “no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump.”
Hicks is the fifth communications director to leave the White House in little more than 12 months. Her predecessor, Anthony Scaramucci lasted just five days in the role.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said no timeline had been set for Hicks’ departure and denied any link between Hicks’ decision and recent interviews.