Kellyanne Conway (AP/Alex Brandon)

We used to have Hope, but now we might have Kellyanne

Kellyanne Conway hints she'd consider taking up comms. director job, filling in where Hope Hicks leaves off


Shira Tarlo
March 23, 2018 9:08PM (UTC)

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway left open the possibility that she could become the next White House communications director, telling Fox News that she will carry out "whatever my best and highest use is here."

"I'm here to support the president however he sees is most important. I don't have any personnel announcements at this time," Conway told "Fox & Friends" in response to a question about rumors that she might take over the job when Hope Hicks departs from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "I will do whatever is best, whatever my best and highest use is here."

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Citing anonymous sources, The Atlantic reported earlier this week that Conway is mulling the opportunity, and might fill the soon-to-be vacant post.

The position of communications director has been a rousing game of musical chairs since President Donald Trump assumed the Oval Office last year. In total, he has had four communications directors during his first 14 months on the job.

In December 2016, a few weeks before the inauguration, Trump appointed Jason Miller — the senior communications adviser to the Trump campaign — to serve permanently in the role. Miller stepped down two days later, following affair allegations. The job was then given to Sean Spicer, who then gave it to Michael Dubke, who was eventually succeeded by Anthony Scaramucci, who famously held the job for just ten days before passing the baton to the former model Hicks, crowning her the youngest-ever communications director at 29-years-old.

The most recent person to fill the post, Hicks held the title longer than any of her West Wing predecessors at 197 days. She announced her resignation late last week — and though the White House said at the time that her official departure would be determined in the coming weeks, New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi reports that Hicks is set to leave the White House by next Wednesday or Thursday.

The high-turnover rate in the Trump White House was not lost to Conway's husband, George Conway, who wrote on Twitter that the president's way of doing business is "so absurd."

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While Kellyanne Conway has officially served in a policy-focused position as White House counselor, she has been one of the most visible faces of the administration, regularly speaking for the president on television, most often on Fox News, where he receives unwaveringly positive coverage.

Conway's allies call her job "'the Kellyanne role,' a position in which the precise title does not completely capture the duties she is performing or the sway she has," according to a New York Times story published after the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's TV surrogate praised the White House communications staff for its service, and acknowledged that the work done by the team requires the type of policy expertise needed by her current position during her "Fox & Friends" appearance.

"As counselor to the president, that takes on any number of different tasks and one has been in terms of policy. That has been my major portfolio here," Conway explained. "But I think to be effective communication directors, as we've seen, you also have to know policy, you have to be read-in. But we have very talented people here."

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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