President Trump gave his communications director, 29-year-old Hope Hicks, a kiss on the cheek as he said a loving goodbye to her on Thursday morning at the White House.
Hicks’ last official day at the complex is Friday, although she could turn in her badge and leave for good today, a Trump spokesperson said.
The president was headed to Ohio this morning for a speech on infrastructure. He’ll fly to Mar-A-Lago for the Easter holiday after that, making this the last day in the near term that they’ll be on the property together.
Hicks resigned last month after an especially grueling day on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers grilled her on the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians for nearly 9 hours.
She’d also struggled with the revelation that her then-boyfriend Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, had allegedly beat both of his ex-wives. They told their stories to DailyMail.com and the FBI.
Then there was the special counsel investigation into accusations of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin to disrupt the 2016 election.
Hicks is said to have become a person of interest in that probe after a revelation that she told the president’s son that no one would find out about his emails setting up a meeting between himself and other campaign officials with a group of Russians at Trump Tower.
Hicks, a former model, has worked for Trump since before he became president. She moved over this presidential campaign to handle press operations in 2015.
At the White House, she was among his inner circle of aides, taking on the role of communications director after his last one, Anthony Scaramucci, fizzled out 11 days after accepting the position.
A fierce battle has been waging inside the White House for the role of communications director, with press secretary Sarah Sanders’ name, counselor Kellyanne Conway and strategic communications director Mercedes Schalpp all in the running. Treasury’s Tony Sayegh is also said to be under consideration.
That Trump had not named anyone to the position at the time of Hicks’ departure, which has been known now for weeks, suggests the position could remain vacant for some time.
Hicks was Trump’s fourth communications director in one year after Sean Spicer, Michael Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci departed.
White House deputy press secretary Lindsey Walters told reporters in an Air Force One briefing that Hicks was a ‘tremendous leader’ for the communications team.
‘She’s someone who has been with the president since the early days. She was smart of a team that was very small during the campaign,’ Walters said. ‘Since being in the administration she has provided countless amounts of advice and worked with all of you day in and day out.’
On Thursday morning Trump made a show of his goodbye to her, pausing outside of the Oval Office to shake her hand.
Trump gave her a kiss on the cheek during the discussion, then shook her hand again.
He also pointed at her several times as photographers and videographers stationed on the South Lawn captured their formal goodbye.
It was a picture-perfect end to Hicks’ tenure at the White House for the camera-loving president.
She’d left her house just before 10 am — a later start than normal — and was seen re-entering her Washington, D.C. apartment at 1:15 pm.