As Hope Hicks falls under media spotlight after the news of her resignation as the White House communications director, you might be wondering just how she became such a critical figure in the current administration. And how Hope Hicks and Donald Trump met goes back to the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump.
According to Business Insider, Hicks came into contact with the family through Trump's eldest daughter and current White House adviser, Ivanka, in 2012. Hicks used to work for Ivanka's fashion enterprise as an employee at the public relations company known as Hiltzik Strategies. In a January tweet, Ivanka described Hicks as her "brilliant, kind, and wickedly funny friend." In August 2014, Hicks became an employee for The Trump Organization.
According to a New York Magazine report, the president asked Hicks to join him on his campaign trail in January, 2015. Hicks told the magazine, "Mr. Trump looked at me and said, 'I’m thinking about running for president, and you’re going to be my press secretary.'" According to the magazine, Hicks also told Trump that same year, "I think it’s 'the year of the outsider.' It helps to have people with outsider perspective." According to a detailed profile on Hicks published by the New York Times, ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort told The Times that Hicks "totally understands" the president.
Even as Hicks is set to leave the White House, Trump has been sharing highly positive words for the young director. "She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future," Trump said in a written statement.
In her own statement, Hicks said, "There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country."
You may think Hicks has been working in politics for years now but she started her career in public relations prior to working with the Trump administration. Even before that, Hicks had a job that most politicians, much less communication directors for the White House, do not and that's modeling. Hicks has modeled for brands like Ralph Lauren and has also been on the cover of the book, The It Girl, written by Cecily von Ziegesar and published in 2005.
Now that Hicks is headed out of the White House in the next few weeks, it seems like Trump's administration will be looking high and low for someone to fill her position. While speaking with media, Trump put emphasis on how "quickly" Hicks learned to work in the tense and fast-paced world of politics. According to Axios, Trump even has a paternal nickname for Hicks and that's "Hopey."
In a 2016 interview with GQ, Trump spoke of Hicks and said she "was able to build political experience quickly. She was very natural. 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. It's faster-moving than anything else."
It isn't clear who will be filling Hicks' shoes as the next communications director for the White House. So far, four people have played the role for the Trump administration, including Anthony Scaramucci who worked as the White House communications director for only 10 days. CNN, however, points to one possible candidate, senior strategic communications advisor Mercedes Schlapp, who might fill Hicks' empty slot. For now, Hicks' fans as well as critics will have to sit back and wait to meet the next White House communications director.