Hope Hicks to resign from Trump White House communications role

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hope Hicks, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's longest-serving aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.

Sanders told reporters the timeline for Hicks' departure was unclear. She said her departure was not related to her testimony to a congressional committee on Tuesday about an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

She is expected to leave in the next few weeks.

Hicks, 29, was caught up in a controversy surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, whom she had been dating. She worked to defend him when charges of domestic abuse against his two former wives emerged. Porter was ultimately forced to resign.

She was one of the first people hired by then-businessman Trump when he began his campaign for the presidency, and is one of his most trusted advisers. Aides said she had approached the president and told him she wanted to leave so she could start exploring opportunities outside of the White House.

RELATED: Hope Hicks among notable Trump White House exits

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Notable people who have been fired or resigned from Trump's administration
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Notable people who have been fired or resigned from Trump's administration

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks reportedly announced her resignation after testifying about her job and being required to tell "white lies."

(Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned from his position on July 5, 2018 after a number of ethics scandals.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Rob Porter resigned as White House staff secretary in February 2018 amid abuse allegations made by his ex-wives.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by President Trump in March 2018.

(Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

H.R. McMaster was replaced by John Bolton as national security advisor in March 2018.

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

White House aide Kelly Sadler left her position in June 2018 after reportedly mocking Sen. John McCain.

(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn announced his resignation in March 2018 after becoming a key architect of the 2017 tax overhaul 

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Sally Yates was fired from her post as acting attorney general when she refused to enforce President Trump's travel ban. 

(Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with Russian officials. 

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

President Trump announced David Shulkin was out as secretary of veterans affairs by sending a tweet announcing he had nominated his personal physican, Ronny Jackson, to replace him on March 28, 2018.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in early May.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in July.

(June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned in July.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Former advisor to President Donald Trump Steve Bannon resigned in August.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director was fired in July after just 10 days on the job. 

(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump fired Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh amid White House leaks in April.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files)

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned in late September. 

(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

White House aide Omarosa Manigault insists she resigned and was not fired from her role in December 2017.

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Trump fired U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara in March.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Mike Dubke resigned as White House communications director in late May.

(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Walter Shaub, former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics in Washington, DC resigned in July.

(Photo Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka resigned in August 2017. 

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Rick Dearborn, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, left the White House in December 2017.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

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"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," Trump said in a statement released by the White House. "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."

On Tuesday Hicks declined to answer questions about the administration from members of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigating Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, lawmakers said. Hicks was Trump's spokeswoman during the campaign.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement of Hicks: "To say that she will be missed, is an understatement."

Hicks took over as communications director in September after the short, difficult tenure of Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired. She is credited behind the scenes for stabilizing the communications operation.

Hicks said in a statement: "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."

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)

 

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