Trump communications director Hope Hicks was caught up in a scandal over reported boyfriend Rob Porter, who was accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.
• Hope Hicks is the youngest ever White House communications director.
• She got her start promoting Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand, before earning Donald Trump’s trust and becoming a part of his inner circle.
• Recently, Hicks was caught up in a White House scandal over her reported boyfriend Rob Porter, who was accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.
• Now, it looks like Hicks could emerge from the scandal relatively unscathed, retaining the trust of the president and key cabinet members.
Hope Hicks is the youngest person to ever hold the position of White House communications director.
She is recognized as one of President Donald Trump’s inner circle, and often volunteers to deliver bad news to the president, as he reportedly takes it better coming from her.
Hicks has also recently been embroiled in a White House controversy that saw two staffers resign over domestic abuse allegations. Hicks has been romantically linked to former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. When Porter’s two ex-wives went on the record alleging that Porter had a history of domestic abuse, Hicks reportedly helped Chief of Staff John Kelly craft a statement defending him.
The resulting scandal has jeopardized Kelly’s standing in the White House. However, as Business Insider’s Rachael Levy reported, Hicks retains the trust of Trump and many of his cabinet members, and could come out of this scandal relatively unscathed.
The 29-year-old may have had zero experience in politics before joining the Trump campaign, but The New York Times reported the Greenwich, Connecticut native was “the third generation of her family to represent a powerful but highly controversial client.” Her father ran PR for a tobacco company and the NFL, while her grandfather represented Texaco during the energy crisis in the 1970s.
“My father has been a huge influence on me, starting with introducing me to lacrosse, then a career in public relations and now politics,” Hicks told Lacrosse Magazine.
Here’s a look at her career, so far:
Growing up in Greenwich, Hicks swam, and played golf and lacrosse. At Greenwich High School, she became captain of the varsity lacrosse team, which ultimately won a state championship. She also landed modeling jobs for television commercials, Ralph Lauren, and Vogue. Ford Modeling Agency represented Hicks and her sister Marcy Grace.
Hicks dreamt of becoming an actor. The New York Times reported she even “read lines for a film role with Alec Baldwin.” At the age of 13, Hicks told Greenwich Magazine she wanted to pursue acting, but could see herself in politics.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University, CNN reported Hicks landed a job at PR firm Hiltzik Strategies in 2012 after meeting founder Matthew Hiltzik at a NFL Super Bowl event. According to the New York Times, however, the interview with Hiltzik was set up after Hicks and her father met Alec Baldwin at the Super Bowl.
Some of Hitzik’s clients have included Baldwin, Justin Bieber, Katie Couric, Glenn Beck, and Manti Te’o. Hicks worked on the firm’s Ivanka Trump account, and reportedly impressed her boss. “Hope is an independent thinker who uses proper discretion and is always looking to learn and improve,” Hiltzik told PR Week.
Ivanka Trump ultimately poached Hicks in 2014, hiring her to work on her namesake lifestyle brand. GQ reported the two became close, with Hicks even “dressing like the heiress.” Ivanka Trump later told The New York Times Hicks also went on to earn her father’s trust.
When Trump first called Hicks to his office, she reportedly didn’t realize he was planning to run for president. Instead, she thought he was asking her to run a press campaign for one of his golf clubs. “No, my presidential campaign!” Trump said, according to the Washington Post. “I’m running for president.”
During the campaign, New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Trump gave Hicks, along with Lewandowski, a free apartment in a Trump building. “Hicks spends most of her day sitting in Trump’s office with her laptop, fielding press inquiries and taking dictation from him to tweet,” he wrote.
But, according to a new tell-all book written by former aides David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski, US President Donald Trump reportedly wasn’t always convinced that the 29-year-old was the right person for the job.
Source: “Let Trump Be Trump“
Lewandowski writes the now-president once told him that Hicks had “as much experience as a coffee cup.” Lewandowski said he countered that she “was good looking.” “That always helps,” Trump reportedly responded.
Source: “Let Trump Be Trump“
In an interview for GQ, Trump told Olivia Nuzzi he was impressed by Hicks’ ability to field so many press inquiries. “She gets a call a minute, probably,” he said. He said he didn’t see a benefit to her “outsider status” and lack of experience, but added, “She was very natural when it comes to picking it up, and a lot of people can’t pick it up, because it’s so fast-moving.”
On the campaign trail, Hicks was also tasked with steaming Trump’s suit and pants while he was wearing them. “She’d steam the jacket first and then sit in a chair in front of him and steam his pants,” Lewandowski and Bossie wrote.
Source: Business Insider
Lewandowski said Hicks was “smart and private, with a nearly photographic memory.”
Source: Business Insider
After Anthony Scaramucci was fired from his post as communications director in August 2017, Hicks was named interim director. “Hope is a terrific person and will do a great job. Wishing her the best,” Scaramucci wrote in a tweet. Hicks was formally appointed communications director on September 12.
Along with top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, Hicks now brings in an annual salary of $179,700 — the maximum pay for any of Trump’s aides.
Source: The White House
New York Magazine reported Hicks’ mother previously told her to write a book about her experience in the campaign, along the lines of “Primary Colors,” a fictionalization about Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. “I told her, ‘You don’t even know,'” Hicks told New York Magazine.
Source: New York Magazine
Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly interviewed Hicks as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Daily Mail. Business Insider reported she’s hired attorney Robert Trout to represent her in the investigation.
Lately, she’s also become a central figure in the controversy around Porter, with whom she’s been romantically linked. But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has said Trump still has “full confidence” in Hicks.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Hicks stressed her belief in hard work and passion, which she said she learned from her father, Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump. “If you work hard and you work for somebody who empowers you and challenges you, you’ll be successful.”
Source: Marie Claire
Source: Pulse. Ng