Trump reportedly said Hope Hicks 'had about as much experience as a coffee cup' in politics — but that her good looks helped

  • President Donald Trump once commented that Hope Hicks, now the White House communications director, had scant political experience, but was aided by her good looks. 
  • Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager, recalled the comments in his new campaign memoir, "Let Trump Be Trump."


Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, recalled Trump telling him that his then-27-year-old press secretary, Hope Hicks, "had about as much experience as a coffee cup," but, they agreed, it helped that she was "good looking."

Lewandowski revealed the phone conversation with Trump, which took place during the presidential transition, in the new campaign memoir, "Let Trump Be Trump," that he wrote with another former campaign aide, David Bossie.

The conversation reportedly took place the day after Trump won the election, when Lewandowski was at a hotel in New York City.

23 PHOTOS
Everything you need to know about Hope Hicks
See Gallery
Everything you need to know about Hope Hicks

Hicks and her sister, Mary Grace, were successful teen models. Hicks posed for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of "It Girl," a spin-off of the best-selling "Gossip Girl" book and TV series.

Hicks and her sister, Mary Grace, were successful teen models. Hicks posed for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of "It Girl," a spin-off of the best-selling "Gossip Girl" book and TV series.

Hicks met patriarch Trump and quickly "earned his trust," Ivanka Trump told The New York Times for a June 2016 profile on the spokeswoman.

In January 2015, Trump called Hicks into his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower and told her she was joining his presidential campaign. "I think it’s 'the year of the outsider.' It helps to have people with outsider perspective," Hicks said Trump told her.

Hicks didn't have any political experience, but her public-relations roots run deep. Both grandfathers worked in PR, and her father, Paul, was the NFL's executive vice president for communications and public relations. He was also a town selectman from 1987 to 1991. Greenwich proclaimed April 23, 2016, as Paul B. Hicks III Day.

Hicks started working on what would become Trump's campaign five months before Trump announced his presidency, after he famously rode a golden escalator down to the lobby of his tower on June 16, 2015.

That makes Hicks the campaign staffer who has persisted in Trump's inner circle the longest. She outlasted his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and several senior advisers.

People close to her describe Hicks as a friendly, loyal fighter. Trump has called her a "natural" and "outstanding."

While reporters who have worked with Hicks say she's polite, they have expressed frustration that she was often unreachable on the campaign trail, not responding to requests for comment, or denying access to the candidate.

She said her mom, Caye, told her to write a book about her experience with Trump, like "Primary Colors," the fictional novel depicting President Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. "You don't even know," she said she told her mother.

During the campaign, Hicks spent most of her days fielding reporters' requests and questions — even reportedly taking dictation from Trump to post his tweets.

During the campaign, Hicks stayed in a free apartment in a Trump building, though she'd often go home to her parents' house in Connecticut when she could.

These days she's in DC. Trump named her his assistant to the president and director of strategic communications in December.

She still flies below the radar, directing the spotlight back on Trump. The then president-elect called her up to the microphone to speak at a "Thank You" rally in December.

It's been said she can act as a sort of Trump whisperer, understanding his many moods and professionally executing what needs to be done. She still only calls him "Sir" or "Mr. Trump."

"If the acting thing doesn’t work out, I could really see myself in politics," Hicks told Greenwich Magazine when she was 13. "Who knows."

In June, the White House released salary info for 377 top staffers. Hicks gets paid the maximum amount that any of Trump's aides receive: $179,700.

Hicks is making as much as Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, policy adviser Stephen Miller, and communications official Omarosa Manigault.

Some family members and friends have expressed concern that Hicks is so closely tied to a president whose policies and statements are unpopular with a significant number of Americans, but are confident that she'll come through unscathed.

"There is just no way that a camera or an episode or a documentary could capture what has gone on. There is nothing like it," Hicks told Marie Claire in June 2016. "It is the most unbelievable, awe-inspiring thing."

In August, Trump asked Hicks to be the new interim White House director of communications, a job that Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci held and left in Trump's first six months in office. The White House will announce who will serve in the job permanently "at the appropriate time."

The 28-year-old Hicks is the youngest communications director in history.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"When we started this thing, it was you and me, and an airplane," Trump told Lewandowski, according to the book. "That's all we had."

"And we had Hope," Lewandowski reportedly responded.

"She had about as much experience as a coffee cup," Trump said, according to the book.

To that, Lewandowski reportedly said, "But she's good looking," to which Trump reportedly replied, "That always helps."

Hicks, now the White House communications director, is — apart from Trump's family members — his longest-serving campaign and presidential aide and is widely viewed as among Trump's most loyal employees. 

Lewandowski, who was fired from the campaign, also described Hicks, a former PR consultant who worked for Ivanka Trump's company before joining the Trump campaign at its launch in 2015, as "smart and private, with a nearly photographic memory."

He added that Hicks was taken aback by Trump's offer to join the campaign, which she mistook as an offer to work on a public relations campaign for one of his golf clubs.

When she was first asked to be press secretary, the authors wrote that she responded, "Which one? The Doral marketing campaign?"

"No, my presidential campaign!" Trump responded. "I’m running for president."

23 PHOTOS
Hope Hicks
See Gallery
Hope Hicks
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks is pictured during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. October 29 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegr's
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump's communications director Hope Hicks (L) crosses paths with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (R) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. Photo taken July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (R) walk to board Marine One as US President Donald Trump departs the White House for Harrisburg, Pensylvannia, where he will hold a rally on the 100th day of his presidency on April 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a 'hallmark of our democracy.' (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: Hope Hicks, left center, and Kellyanne Conway, right center, attend a press briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks talks on her phone in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks (R) stands onstage at the end of an event with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his newly selected vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, July 16, 2016 in New York City. On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he chose Pence to be his running mate. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: (L to R) Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, and Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, look on as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House, January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday that he will reveal his 'unbelievably highly respected' pick to replace the late Supreme Court Antonin Scalia on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House as he heads to a morning worship service on Inauguration day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(L-R) White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Senior Advisor Stephen Miller follow U.S. President Donald Trump (not seen) on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (C) and White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino (L) arrive at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Hope Hicks, communication director for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is pictured following a news conference at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
(L-R) Donald Trump's White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, Senior Counselor Steve Bannon and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway arrive for the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool
Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York, U.S. January 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks steps off off Air Force One upon arrival in Morristown, New Jersey on June 30, 2017. Hicks is travelling with US President Donald Trump who is heading to Bedminster, New Jersey to spend the weekend at his golf club. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks listens as President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau host a meeting with women business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway (L) and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks are seen on the tarmac of Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey on June 9, 2017. Conway and Hicks are traveling with US President Donald Trump to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (AFP OUT) White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Senior Counselor to the President and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade following a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss many issues, including trade and security ties and will hold a joint press confrence later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, White House Director of Strategic Communications, steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey on June 9, 2017. Hicks is traveling with US President Donald Trump to his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to spend the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House as he heads to a morning worship service on Inauguration day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Hope Hicks, incoming White House Director of Strategic Communications, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. President-elect Donald Trump won't end the onslaught of posts on Twitter that fed his unconventional campaign, even after taking on the formalized duties of the Oval Office later this month. Bloomberg: Peter Foley/Pool via Bloomberg
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Allan Smith contributed to this report. 

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Trump reportedly once berated Hope Hicks for forgetting a machine she used to steam his pants while he wore them

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.