The top names to replace Hope Hicks include Melania Trump’s right-hand woman and one of the White House’s most controversial aides

Hope Hicks.

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Hope Hicks.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Many people appear to be under consideration to replace Hope Hicks as White House communications director.
  • White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp appears to be the favorite.
  • Another name that has popped up is Stephanie Grisham, who is first lady Melania Trump’s communications director and a longtime Trump aide.

Of the many questions that emerged after White House communications director Hope Hicks announced her resignation on Thursday is who will replace President Donald Trump’s longest-tenured aide and become the administration’s sixth communications director in just over a year.

There are many names that have emerged as possibilities.

One of the favorites for the job, several news outlets report, is Mercedes Schlapp, who has served as director of strategic communications since September.

“I’d be surprised if it wasn’t Mercedes,” a Republican close to the administration told The Daily Beast. Meanwhile, a White House source told the publication that Schlapp was a “lock” for the job.

Another name that popped up in The Daily Beast was Stephanie Grisham, first lady Melania Trump’s communications director. She previously worked on the Trump transition team.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noted that, aside from longtime Trump aide Dan Scavino, the only original member of the 2016 campaign “who Trump feels fondly toward” left inside the White House is Grisham.

“Wishing Hope Hicks all the best!” Grisham tweeted Wednesday. “So very sad to see her go – professional, poised, talented & the best sense of humor.”

Politico reported in Thursday’s Playbook newsletter that “oddsmakers” feel that Schlapp has the inside track while a more controversial pick, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, could be under consideration as well. Miller is known for his combative, though infrequent, TV appearances.

In Mike Allen’s Axios morning newsletter, a much more extensive list of names was provided. Among them: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Tony Sayegh, and initial White House communications director Jason Miller – who withdrew from the job before Trump took the oath of office.