Top Trump aide Hicks to resign | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:32 AM, March 02, 2018

Top Trump aide Hicks to resign

Hope Hicks, one of Donald Trump's longest-serving aides and perhaps his most trusted confidante, on Wednesday announced her resignation in the latest of a string of departures from the embattled White House.

The 29-year-old former model and PR operative took her first job in politics as spokesperson for the Republican's victorious campaign, before joining him in the White House where she was named communications director last September.

While she cut a discreet figure in the White House -- refusing all interviews -- the former advisor to Ivanka Trump was known around the West Wing for her close relationship with the president's family and as a keen defender of his image.

She was well known to have the ear of the president, who never publicly voiced even the slightest criticism of her.

"There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump," the 29-year-old Hicks said in a statement on her departure.

Trump paid tribute to Hicks' "outstanding" contribution over the past three years, calling her "as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person."

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Hicks had "served her country with great distinction."

"To say that she will be missed, is an understatement," Kelly said.

Hicks' announcement came a day after she testified before a Congressional intelligence committee about the Russia election meddling investigation.

She reportedly told lawmakers she had told "white lies" for Trump in the course of her duties, but never over the Russia probe.

The White House said Hicks had informed Trump she wished to leave in order to explore other opportunities. Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said no timeline had been set for her departure, adding that her exit was not linked to her testimony to Congress.

Hicks' departure follows that of a succession of senior administration figures: from national security advisor Michael Flynn, to Reince Priebus as chief of staff, Sean Spicer as press secretary and Steve Bannon as the president's chief strategist.

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