Hope Hicks to return to Trump administration as adviser to Jared Kushner after stint at Fox

Hicks left the White House in 2018 after admitting to investigators that she told "white lies" on Trump's behalf

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published February 13, 2020 12:04PM (EST)

Donald Trump; Hope Hicks (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Donald Trump; Hope Hicks (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks will return to the White House as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Hicks will help Kushner on a variety of projects in his portfolio, including Trump's re-election campaign, according to The New York Times. After spearheading the administration's ill-fated Middle East peace plan, Kushner has reportedly turned his attention to immigration reform.

"There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump's agenda than Hope Hicks," Kushner said in a statement to The Times. "We are excited to have her back on the team."

But another reason Hicks could be returning to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is because "the superstitious president has talked about recreating some aspects of that first race," sources told the outlet.

Hicks, 31, worked for both Ivanka Trump's ill-fated fashion line and the Trump Organization before serving as press secretary when the real estate mogul launched his 2016 campaign. She was ultimately promoted to serve as the White House communications director before departing in early 2018. Hicks has worked as chief communications officer for the parent company of Fox News since last fall.

Like Kellyanne Conway, Hicks' title will now be "counselor to the president," The Times reported. She will not return to the White House's communications shop.

Hicks departed the White House after she reportedly told investigators that working for Trump "occasionally required her to tell white lies" during her eight-hour testimony before the the House Intelligence Committee.

After "extended consultation with her lawyers," Hicks insisted that she had not lied about matters related to investigations into the ties of Trump associates to Russia. She refused to answer questions about her time at the White House or on the presidential transition team.

Hicks was also a key witness in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and the Senate Intelligence Committee Russia probe. Her testimony continued to dog her after she left the White House.

Court documents in the federal investigation of former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen revealed that Hicks spoke with both men shortly before Cohen negotiated a hush money payment with adult film star Stormy Daniels over her alleged affair with Trump. Hicks spoke to Cohen multiple times on the day when negotiations began.

When asked if she was present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels, Hicks repeatedly said she was not. Hicks was accused of lying to Congress, though there is no evidence she discussed the payments on the calls. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York said in July 2019 that Hicks would not be charged in connection to the Cohen case.

Pressed on other matters, a White House lawyer interjected to claim that Hicks was fully immune from answering questions about her time working at the White House, according to a transcript of the hearing. The White House also blocked Hicks from turning over documents subpoenaed by the committee.

Politico's Nancy Cook suggested that Hicks was returning to the White House because the impeachment proceedings and other investigations into Trump's conduct had finally come to a close.

"I was always told by her friends and allies that she would only return to the WH after the various investigations were over," Cook tweeted.

MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley said the return shows how emboldened Trumpworld is after his acquittal, given that Hicks quit "under the scrutiny of law enforcement" after participating in a "cover-up."

"They've learned to no longer fear the law," Wiley wrote.

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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Brief Donald Trump Fox News Hope Hicks Jared Kushner Michael Cohen Politics Robert Mueller White House