Hope Hicks returning to White House as Trump campaign ramps up
U.S. President Donald Trump poses for members of the media with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on her last day before he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
WASHINGTON -- Hope Hicks, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's most trusted and longest-serving aides, is returning to the White House as his reelection campaign moves into high gear.
Hicks will be a counsellor to the president, working with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made public. She will not be part of the White House communications department, but will work closely with Kushner and White House political director Brian Jack "in a number of strategic areas, " a White House official confirmed.
Hicks is expected to start early next month. Details were still being worked out Thursday.
Hicks, who was one of Trump's original 2016 campaign staffers and moved with him to Washington after he won, had served as White House communications director before she left in 2018. She moved to California, where she joined the Fox Corporation as executive vice-president and chief communications officer.
The news comes a week after a newly embolden Trump was acquitted by the Senate on impeachment charges approved by the Democratic-controlled House. Since then, he's been on a tear to clear his administration of those he sees as insufficiently loyal, reaching all the way back to the time of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. At the same time, he is working to surround himself with people he believes he can trust.
The news was praised publicly by top administration officials, including Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary who also serves as the current White House communications director.
"I have worked with Hope for almost six years and can say without hesitation she is one of the most talented and savvy individuals I have come across," Grisham said in a statement. "She has always impressed me with her quiet confidence, loyalty and expertise, and I am beyond thrilled to welcome Hope back to the White House."
"There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump's agenda than Hope Hicks," Kushner added. "We are excited to have her back on the team."
Hicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Known for her loyalty and low public profile, Hicks was part of the small inner circle that traversed the country with Trump aboard his private jet as he waged his unlikely campaign for the Republican nomination and then the presidency in 2015 and 2016. She was often described as someone who was especially deft at reading the president's moods and helping others navigate his instincts.
Hicks' return comes as longtime former personal aide John McEntee, who was removed in 2018, rejoined the White House to run the White House Presidential Personnel Office. It's an influential posting that co-ordinates the screening and hiring for thousands of federal government aides.
McEntee began on the Trump campaign as an intern before rising to become one of his closest staffers in the White House, with an office adjacent to the Oval Office. He was ousted two yeas ago on the orders of former chief of staff John Kelly, before being reinstated by Trump two months ago.
Meanwhile, the conservative Newsmax TV announced Thursday that Trump's first press secretary, Sean Spicer, will be hosting a political talk show that will air weeknights at 6 p.m. from Washington. "Spicer & Co." will debut on March 3.