Is Hope Hicks’ Time Out of the Spotlight at an End?

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One of the most interesting aspects of the Trump administration, so far, has been that one of the most important figures has managed to stay almost completely out of the spotlight. While many of President Trump’s aides, members of his cabinet, and even members of his family, are in the news on a daily basis, Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director, remains in the background. That may be about to change, and it will be interesting to see how Hicks manages what is likely to be a bumpy road.

Hicks, reportedly, is dating Rob Porter, the Trump aide who was forced to resign recently after being repeatedly accused of domestic abuse. Initially, the Trump administration was quick to defend one of its own. Porter would not be leaving, the accusations were unfounded, part of a politically-motivated smear campaign…

Then more news came out, more stories were written, and Porter ended up leaving anyway. The White House continued to defend him, but reporters expected that. What they really wanted to know is what Hicks thought, not as a member of the team, but as a person romantically linked to someone being accused of abuse by multiple previous women.

Hicks didn’t rise to the bait, but sources have confirmed she did, at least initially, try to assist with Porter’s PR defense, helping write the statement delivered by Chief of Staff John Kelly.



And, just as all this was boiling over, Hicks’ name finally came up associated with Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation. As the person responsible for facilitating President Trump’s interviews as well as controlling press access, that was bound to happen sooner or later. While no one has come out and accused Hicks of any wrongdoing, there’s some expectation that she may know things integral to the investigation.

Critics and even satirists have struggled to put Hicks in the role of “bad guy” in political commentary or comedy. She’s considered polite, professional and gracious, making it difficult to poke fun – something SNL learned the hard way.

That said, her relationship to Porter may be a way for some with a bone to pick with the Trump administration to connect even Hicks to what they see as nefarious behavior. For example Hicks, on her own account, may not have rated a tabloid-style picture in the Daily Mail, getting cozy with her beau. But, because that significant other is Porter, suddenly Hicks is fair game.

Some have said the squeaky-clean image presented by Hicks is a smokescreen, and they seem desperate for her to slip. Meanwhile, Hicks seems content to stay quietly in the background, as slings and arrows fly all around her.

Ed Schinik, CFO, Yorkville Advisors

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