- Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
- The White House communications director, Hope Hicks, volunteered to tell President Donald Trump about negative stories, a former campaign official told Town & Country magazine.
- Hicks’ relationship with Trump has been under scrutiny since the revelation that the special counsel Robert Mueller is focusing on her as part of his Russia investigation.
- Hicks’ supporters say she’s effective in reading Trump’s moods and approaching him with tact, while her critics say she enables Trump’s worst tendencies.
Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and right-hand woman to President Donald Trump, reportedly volunteered to do one of the least coveted tasks incumbent upon Trump’s aides: informing him about negative stories.
“She always has impeccable timing,” Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s former senior communications adviser, told Town & Country magazine. “When a bad story would come up, she would volunteer, saying, ‘I’ll just go and tell him; I got it.’ We all had to do it. She was just better at it.”
The magazine described a “close family friend” as saying Hicks is good at giving her elders advice because she’s “smooth and direct, you know where she stands, and she’s never confrontational.”
Trump has previously acknowledged that Hicks has a way with words and a knack for approaching him tactfully, telling The New York Times in 2016 that he was “lucky to have her.”
“She will often give advice, and she’ll do it in a very low-key manner, so it doesn’t necessarily come in the form of advice,” Trump said. “But it’s delivered very nicely.”
Hicks’ relationship with Trump has been closely scrutinized in recent weeks after news surfaced that the special counsel Robert Mueller has begun focusing on her in his investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election.
Her critics have accused her of enabling Trump’s worst instincts, while her supporters argue that she can very effectively read the president’s moods.
One former Trump campaign official likened Hicks to Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s most trusted aide.
Hicks “does everything from big important conversations to getting a cup of coffee … or whatever it takes to make [Trump] succeed in the moment,” the official told Town & Country. “She puts his success above her own.”
Though Hicks, 29, is frequently underestimated, partly because of her age and lack of prior political experience, observers say she’s highly competent and has worked her way into a position of immense power.
“A lot of people who may have underestimated her are now working with her and through her to get what they need from this administration,” Michael Feldman, who was an official in the Clinton White House, told the magazine.