Hope Hicks

Fight to Replace Hope Hicks Is Now a ‘Smear Campaign’

“The race to become the next White House Communications Director has degenerated into a round of backstabbing and factionalism that has taken aback even the most jaded of White House aides and allies,” the Daily Beast reports.

“One White House official described the contest to replace departing Trump adviser Hope Hicks as being well into its ‘smear campaign stage.’ Another senior administration official dubbed it as a ‘battle royale.’ And a Republican official close to the White House bemoaned yet another heavy shot of ‘palace intrigue and backstabbing’ in an administration uniquely notorious for both.”

Stuart Stevens: “Every job process involving this White House quickly slides into contest of who is most willing to degrade themselves the most for a job they will later be ashamed of holding. It’s why the available talent pool is so limited.”

What Hope Hicks Knows

New York Magazine runs a great profile of former White House communications director Hope Hicks.

“Hicks took out one of her notebooks, black leather with the Trump name embossed in gold on the front. She’d prayed a lot over the weekend, and also written two lists in the same bubbly print that had recently been photographed on a note card in Trump’s hand, reminding him to tell survivors of a school shooting, among other things, ‘I hear you.’ One list contained reasons to resign as White House communications director immediately; the other, reasons to wait to resign. Not resigning at all wasn’t a consideration.”

What’s Next for Hope Hicks?

New York Times: “She has told friends that, for now, she has no definite ideas for her life after the West Wing, except that she will not be living in Washington. An extended vacation with her family is planned. Book agents have come calling, but Ms. Hicks has told acquaintances that she is reluctant to write anything — although she has joked that a massive advance could change her mind.”

Hope Hicks Kept a Diary

A White House insider tells the Daily Mail that Hope Hicks has been secretly keeping what was described as a “detailed diary of her White House work, and her interactions with the president.”

Said the source: “Hope’s one of Donald Trump’s most loyal colleagues and friends. She’s not one to destroy that relationship. And she is certainly under some sort of nondisclosure agreement. Moreover, the various investigations by the special counsel and Congress could target her. So she has to be very careful about jumping into any deals.”

Trump Often Crosses Line in Discussing Russia Probe

President Trump’s lawyers “have urged him not to discuss details of the unfolding Russia investigation with people outside his legal team, warning of a conversational ‘bright line’ that could place aides and associates in legal jeopardy,” Politico reports.

“But Trump often ignores that legal advice in the presence of senior aides — including his departing confidante and White House communications director, Hicks.”

Said a senior administration official: “I think the president has put her in a very precarious position.”

“Hicks is not alone. Current and former Trump aides describe a president who often fails to observe boundaries about the Russia probe and who calls staffers into his office and raises the subject without warning.”

Hicks Refused to Answer If Others Asked Her to Lie

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, outgoing White House communications director Hope Hicks refused to answer whether a “litany of 50” people, including “the entire Trump family,” had ever asked Hicks to lie, CBS News reports.

The list of names included Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Michael Cohen and others. Hicks was also asked whether she heard President Trump ask others to lie for him.

Hicks gave a “blanket” response by declining to answer in each instance.

Hope Hicks Is Resigning

Hope Hicks said that she was resigning as White House communications director, the New York Times reports.

“Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood his personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.”

“She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a perfect moment to leave… She did not say what her next job would be, and it was unclear what the departure date is, although it is likely to be in the next few weeks.”

Jonathan Swan: “Trump will miss her in the same way he misses former bodyguard Keith Schiller. Hicks is family and has been part of his routine for nearly three years now. Trump increasingly finds himself working in a building populated by people he doesn’t know and doesn’t trust; Some of whom did not even vote for him.”

Hicks Admitted She Lies for Trump

Hope Hicks told House investigators that her work for President Trump “had occasionally required her to tell white lies,” the New York Times reports.

“But after extended consultation with her lawyers, she insisted that she had not lied about matters material to the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump associates.”

Hicks Refuses to Answer House Investigators’ Questions

“White House communications director Hope Hicks is the latest close adviser to President Trump to refuse to answer questions about the administration or transition period, posed by House investigators as part of their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.

“Democrats and Republicans emerging from the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing interview with Hicks on Tuesday noted that she resisted answering any questions about events and conversations that occurred since Trump won the election, despite the fact that Trump has not formally invoked executive privilege with the panel.”

Trump Frustrated with Hope Hicks

President Trump “has grown increasingly frustrated with Hope Hicks, his communications director and one of his closest confidantes, amid the fallout from the Rob Porter scandal,” CNN reports.

“Trump was not consulted when Hicks and several other aides drafted a White House statement defending Porter, and he is under the impression that Hicks has let her romantic relationship with Porter cloud her judgment.”

Trump Aide Accused of Abusing His Ex-Wife

An ex-wife of Trump aide Rob Porter — who is currently dating White House communications director Hope Hicks — tells the Daily Mail that he “choked, punched and belittled her about her weight her during their five-year marriage.”

Axios reports Porter has resigned with this statement:

These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.

The Intercept reports the FBI discovered the abuse of Porter’s ex-wives during a background check.

FBI Warned Hope Hicks About Russian Emails

“FBI officials warned one of President Trump’s top advisers, Hope Hicks, earlier this year about repeated attempts by Russian operatives to make contact with her during the presidential transition,” the New York Times reports.

“The Russian outreach efforts show that, even after American intelligence agencies publicly accused Moscow of trying to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election, Russian operatives were undaunted in their efforts to establish contacts with Mr. Trump’s advisers.”

“There is no evidence that Ms. Hicks did anything improper.”

Is Hope Hicks the Key to Mueller’s Investigation?

Politico: “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is preparing to interview the woman who’s seen it all: Hope Hicks. She’s been part of Donald Trump’s inner circle for years, first at Trump Tower and then as an omnipresent gatekeeper and fixer who could get emails or other communications directly to the boss during the 2016 campaign. As a senior White House adviser and now as communications director, she’s been in the room for moments critical to Mueller’s probe, which has grown to include the president’s response to the Russia investigation itself.”

“Mueller’s decision to request an interview with Hicks – who hasn’t been named in any criminal wrongdoing – also indicates he’s reached a critical point in the overall investigation, according to former prosecutors and veterans of past White House investigations. Typically, conversations with such senior level aides are saved for near the end of a probe.”