NYT: Trump Insists Hicks Is ‘Fantastic’ Amid Porter Response Debacle

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 28: Hope Hicks, communications aide for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, attends a campaign rally at Madison City Schools Stadium in Madison, Ala., February 28, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams

Not all Hope is lost in the White House it seems.

According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump shot down recent reports that he has grown increasingly exasperated with his communications director over her handling of the White House’s response to domestic abuse allegations against former aide Rob Porter.

“Hope is absolutely fantastic,” Trump said in a statement to the NYT released through a spokesman Friday. “She was with the campaign from the beginning, and I could not ask for anything more. Hope is smart, very talented and respected by all.”

Other White House officials, including Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, came to Hicks’ defense Friday.

Ivanka Trump, who hired Hicks at her company prior to working for the Trump campaign, said Hicks was a “team player.”

“Most importantly, the President has deep respect for her, cares about her greatly, and listens to her,” Ivanka Trump said Friday, per NYT. “That’s not true of everyone. She’s earned that.”

In a statement provided to NYT through an aide, Mnuchin said he had been “impressed” with Hicks since working with her on the campaign. Mnuchin views her “as an invaluable asset to the President” given how “she is exceptionally talented in leading communications for the administration.”

CNN reported earlier Friday that sources familiar with the matter said Trump believes Hicks let her relationship with Porter—whom she reportedly became romantically involved with—muddle her judgement in drafting a statement in Porter’s defense when news of his ex-wives’ domestic abuse allegations broke Tuesday.

According to CNN’s Friday report, Trump was not consulted when Hicks wrote the statement and he thinks the communications director put her own interests above his.