Hope Hicks’ resignation as White House communications director has been brewing for a while as the longtime aide to President Donald Trump grew tired and stressed by her prominent role in the administration, according to several reports out Wednesday.
The announcement that Hicks would leave the White House in the coming weeks directly followed her testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that she sometimes tells “white lies” for the President, but multiple reports indicate that those comments were not the sole impetus for her resignation.
Both CBS News and CNN reported that Trump was angry with Hicks for acknowledging the white lies and that he made that known to his communications director, though the White House denied the CNN report that Trump berated Hicks over her testimony.
However, previous scandals and general White House turmoil led Hicks to her decision to resign before that testimony.
Hicks was swept up in the White House scandal surrounding Rob Porter, the former aide who remained in the administration despite trouble with his security clearance due to accusations of domestic abuse from his ex-wives. Hicks was reportedly dating Porter when the allegations became public, prompting scrutiny over her role in the White House’s initial effort to back Porter. Hicks felt pressure from the attention she garnered during the scandal, according to New York magazine and CBS News.
A friend of Hicks told Politico that Hicks was prompted to leave due to the stress of the job, the Russia investigation and the Porter scandal.
“This was a case of, ‘I’m done. Physically. Emotionally. Just drained,’” the friend told Politico. “Three years in that kind of environment is a lifetime.”
Though it seems the Porter scandal played a role in Hicks’ departure, she was discussing plans to leave before then, according to NBC News.
If she had stayed on, Hicks would have continued without one of her closest allies in the White House, Josh Raffel, who will leave his role as deputy communications director soon as well. Raffel’s departure, as well as the apparent diminished roles of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump may have contributed to Hicks’ decision as well.