Formerly Trump Aide Hope Hicks tells behind closed doors
When the president's closest West Wing confidante – the recipient of his repeated phone calls, witnessed his frightening moments, and according to other campaigners, the person who steamed wrinkles out of his pants – sources now say their relationship has changed. Instead of conducting a near-constant conversation, they rarely speak.
Hicks returns to Washington on Wednesday to testify to closed doors before the House Judges Committee for its investigation into possible barriers of justice by the President. This account is based on interviews with several current and former administrative officials, as well as people near Trump and Hicks.
Once near the parties' communication, it first decreased and then came to a virtual stop, after she left the White House. She told her that it was not a representation of her feelings towards the man she worked for, but a desire to renounce the path she had occupied so long: his. There were several times when she did not return Trump's call. According to two people familiar with his remark, Trump asked on several occasions "What happened to Hope?"
People near Hicks say that despite her distance, she remains on the president's side. She has been in close contact with White House and Trump officials, who send her updates from the west and track or request advice on managing the mercurial president, working closely with her.
But Hicks returns to another Washington Wednesday than the one she occupied more than a year ago. Democrats are now in control of the House, and have launched an attack on investigations to the President and his administration. Now they will have one of the president's most trusted advisors on their grass. In his first interview with a former White House official, since Trump promised to "fight all death," Democrats want to seek Hicks from everything from James Comey's shooting to Trump's claim that then Attorney Jeff Sessions doesn't try.
Hicks joins a long list of current and former Trump assistants called to appear before the legislature's intention to investigate Trump's attempt to short-circuit the investigation led by former specialty councilor Robert Mueller. While some of the employees had access to important moments and critical decisions during the trump's campaign and presidency, perhaps no other staff has the potential to offer Democrats as much insight into Trump's thoughts and mind as Hicks.
An original that left the week
Once upon a time model and promotional pros, Hicks went early to Trump's presidential campaign and was one of the few helpers to follow him from his political start to the White House. She maintained a close relationship not only with the president – who called her "Hopey" – but with family members, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both senior advisors.
She barely performed that role with a single word in public – no television interviews and just a few scattered appearances on microphones in addition to Trump.
Hicks dropped from his role as Vita Huset's communications director and left the administration by March. She moved out of her luxurious Washington apartment and moved to Manhattan, where she maintained a low profile for the next few months and kept in touch with her former White House colleagues.
Sometimes she thought about returning to the administration, asked friends last summer about what position she could have if she came back. She was also discovered aboard the Air Force One in August prior to the President's campaign performance in Ohio – an immediate return to presidential travel after visiting her former colleagues at Trump's New Jersey Golf Club.
But mostly, people who talked to Hicks said she was trying to adjust after three years in Trump's orbit, a whirlwind that saw both her and the president go from political beginners to driving the country.
Seven months after departure, Fox Corporation announced it had hired Hicks to become the company's chief executive, where she would be based in Los Angeles. Since moving to the West Coast, Hicks, a Connecticut native, has been appreciated in exclusive restaurants, yoga studios, and – based on those who know her – living a relatively modest life, aware that she is carrying the echo of a polarizing president.
But several sources of knowledge of their relationship say that one aspect of her new life is unexpected: Hicks rarely speaks to the president.
A witness to all
People who know the president's best say that He is an avid caller. He will call lawmakers, old friends and his employees several times a day to ask them everything from which democratic presidential candidates are moving forward or to complain about a new segment that he saw on cable news.
But when she worked for him, Trump's call sign with Hicks was unreasonable, people near them both said. He regularly called her more than he did his chief of staff, regardless of who occupied that title at that time. She rarely left White House grounds during the day because she had to be in the earshot of Trump, who often called her in an instant. And if it wasn't Trump at the other end of the phone, there was often another White house staff or an external advisor who asked about the president's mood and asked how best to address a problem with him.
In his service as Trump's communications guru, Hicks witnessed some of the darkest moments in his presidency. She described in interviews with Mueller's investigator an expert president after the appointment of the Special Council, and said she had only seen him anxious after the "Access Hollywood" band that caught him boasts that gripping women were released.
She also described the president upset that too many people were aware of e-mails related to a now notorious meeting at the Trump Tower with Russian officials linked to the Kremlin. In a text message exchange with Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., Hicks reported to try to inform the president of a communication strategy around the meeting.
"I think it's right, but the boss man worries that it invites a lot of questions" she wrote when Donald Trump Jr. suggested an editorial to a prepared statement.
The White House claims immunity to prevent Hicks from telling Wednesday about their time at the White House and setting up a potential deal with the Democrats when she appears behind closed doors.
But the Democrats at the House Judiciary Committee are also planning to squeeze Hicks on events that occurred before Trump began, including her knowledge of the hush-money system to silence Trump's extraterrestrial affairs at the beginning of the 2016 presidential election, a committee assisting told CNN.