WASHINGTON — In a White Property populated by aides who have flamed out, lashed out or cashed out — some do all three in the same day — Hope Hicks, the administration’s communications director, has maintained a low profile as an influential adviser of a mercurial president who prizes her loyalty.
On Friday, President Trump publicly returned the favor.
A day after the departure of Rob Porter, a White House aide who resigned amid domestic abuse accusations, the president dismissed an thought circulated by some aides and allies that he had been unhappy with Ms. Hicks’ part in workshopping an initial forceful defense of Mr. Porter. Ms. Hicks had been dating Mr. Porter until not too long ago.
“Hope is completely great,” Mr. Trump mentioned in a statement released via a spokesman. “She was with the campaign from the starting, and I could not ask for anything more. Hope is intelligent, quite talented and respected by all.”
Ms. Hicks did not know about the specific allegations made against Mr. Porter till Tuesday, according to a White Property official. That day, she met with other White Home officials in drafting the initial statements sent in Mr. Porter’s defense, according to two West Wing officials.
Rumblings began about the president’s unhappiness with a haphazard situation handled with no his expertise, and Mr. Trump spent Thursday functioning the phones, referring to Mr. Porter in one call as “bad garbage” and saying that he questioned Ms. Hicks’s judgment, according to two advisers.
But while concerns continue to swirl about regardless of whether Mr. Kelly will survive the scandal — he provided to resign on Friday — in Ms. Hicks’ case the West Wing trotted out a host of senior officials to defend her. On Friday the lineup incorporated Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary.
“I have been impressed with Hope since I began functioning with her on the campaign,” Mr. Mnuchin stated in a statement that was volunteered by an aide. “She is exceptionally talented in top communications for the administration. I view her as an invaluable asset to the president and us all.”
Ms. Trump, who hired Ms. Hicks numerous years ago to work for her business just before Ms. Hicks was tapped to serve on the Trump campaign in 2015, stated Ms. Hicks was a “team player” who’d earned the president’s confidence.
“Most importantly,” Ms. Trump stated in an unsolicited interview, “the president has deep respect for her, cares about her tremendously, and listens to her. That’s not correct of everyone. She’s earned that.”
Ms. Hicks, a 29-year-old former model, brought an aggressive, corporate-world training to the globe of politics. With a background in defending the client against all threats — and, if required, all odds — she earned Mr. Trump’s trust for the duration of the campaign.
The bond grew as Mr. Trump ascended to the White Property and was abruptly surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces. Ms. Hicks has been a continual at his side on trips and photo possibilities, and keeps as close an eye as feasible on Mr. Trump’s interviews with journalists.
In their years with each other, Ms. Hicks has helped create pugilistic statements on Mr. Trump’s behalf, including one particular that delivered a blow to Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist: “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition celebration, however he spent his time at the White House leaking false data to the media to make himself seem far a lot more essential than he was,” that statement study.
For the duration of the campaign, Ms. Hicks also stepped forward to defend Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s onetime campaign manager. She said Mr. Lewandowski had “nothing to apologize for” soon after he grabbed a reporter who later filed battery charges against him.
“I believe the president constantly likes somebody who appears like they’re out of central casting,” Chris Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of the president, mentioned in an interview. “But he does want men and women to know what they’re doing. He also puts a higher value on loyalty. And she’s been very loyal.”
For the final a number of months, Ms. Hicks and Mr. Porter have been observed about Washington, attending group dinners with each other. 1 particular person close to Ms. Hicks, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of loyalty to her, stated Mr. Porter had created his way into the modest circle of folks she felt she could trust soon after a number of years in an usually chaotic function environment.
On Friday aides all through the West Wing were still struggling to reconcile Mr. Porter’s accused private behavior with the individual they knew at function, according to a senior administration official.
But in the Oval Office, Ms. Hicks was there as Mr. Trump supplied praise and assistance for Mr. Porter.
“We completely want him well,” the president mentioned, as Ms. Hicks stood nearby.
Published at Sat, ten Feb 2018 01:03:17 +0000
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