16 Things to Know About Hope Hicks

16 Things to Know About Hope Hicks

From Cosmopolitan

Hope Hicks was the press secretary for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. She was, as you might imagine, crazy busy: traveling with Trump, responding to the tidal wave of media requests, and helping the candidate with his prolific tweeting. “I haven’t really been home since Thanksgiving,” she told New York magazine last year.

Although her name appears in the media often, Hicks kept a very low profile during the campaign, scrubbing her public social media profile and staying away from stories written about her. (She politely declined a Cosmopolitan.com interview request.) In December 2016, she spoke briefly at a Trump victory rally in Mobile, Alabama.

On Aug. 15, a White House official announced that she would serve as the interim communications director. Then, on Sept. 12, a White House official confirmed that she would assume the role permanently.

Here are 16 things you should know about the young woman juggling Trump’s message:

Hicks graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she played lacrosse for four years. “She is highly intelligent and brought that to the field in every game … When needed, she carried the team and would score, but preferred to have assists,” her former lacrosse coach Liz Holmes told the Washington Post. “She was the ultimate team player and competitor.”

There, she worked with the Trump organization, according to the Washington Post. (The firm’s founder, Matthew Hiltzik, has worked for Hillary Clinton.) In August 2014, she went in-house with Trump, where, according to New York magazine, she handled PR for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and some Trump resorts.

Her dad, Paul Hicks III, was a top executive at a PR firm and the NFL’s executive vice president of communications before his current job: managing director at the Glover Park Group. Paul Hicks, her late grandfather, was vice president and general manager of public relations for Texaco.

In January 2015, Trump called her into his office and, according to New York magazine, said he was making her the press secretary for his upcoming presidential campaign, which officially started in June. And that was that.

Hicks took dictation from Trump for his tweets, then sent them to someone else in the Trump organization to actually tweet, the Washington Post reported.

…which included Corey Lewandowski [Editor’s note: Trump fired Lewandowski on June 20, 2016] , the campaign manager charged with battery after he allegedly roughed up a female reporter. Hicks’s job has included issuing statements in defense of Lewandowski.

And they described her as likable, loyal, and resilient, according to the Washington Post.

In fact, it’ll likely help her. “When looking at Hope [as a job candidate], I’d be less interested in how intimately she was involved in crafting Trump’s persona and more interested in how she functions under pressure, works with reporters and carries herself with integrity – all of which she does very well,” David Shane, former executive vice president at Hollywood studio Relativity, told the Washington Post.

And though it’s hardly relevant to her job – though Hicks has worked as a Ralph Lauren model and served as a one-time model for Ivanka Trump’s collection in a “street style” blog post – there is certainly a resemblance. She also modeled for the book cover of a Gossip Girl spin-off.

Kylie Burchell, Hicks’s lacrosse coach, told GQ Hicks was one of the only players to abide by the team’s no-alcohol policy. “I think the girls were annoyed at her a little bit,” Burchell said. “She was trying to be a leader. She was showing by example what to do.”

During the campaign, she reportedly received upward of 250 requests to speak with Trump per day, but “she alone decides who gets in and who’s kept out,” Olivia Nuzzi wrote for GQ. Occasionally, Hicks would accommodate Trump “tantrums” where he declared a certain reporter must be banned for a while.

As strategic communications director, she worked with Sean Spicer (White House press secretary) and Dan Scavino (social media director). (Jason Miller was named communications director but turned down the role.)

After Anthony Scaramucci was announced as the new communication director in July 2017 (taking over from Mike Dubke who resigned in May) and Spicer resigned, Scaramucci said at a press conference: “Dan [Scavino] and Hope Hicks are staying. As it relates to the other people in the comms shop, I’ve got to get to know them.”

The demands of the campaign reportedly caused the breakup between her and her boyfriend of six years. Though Hicks lived in Greenwich with her sister, she stayed in a Trump apartment in New York City when she was not traveling.

On July 19, Trump gave a 50-minute interview to the New York Times in which he questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to recusal himself from the Russian investigation, said FBI special counsel Robert Mueller would cross a line if he looked into the Trump family’s finances, suggested former FBI director James Comey briefed him on a dossier of salacious allegations in order to gain leverage over him, and indicated that he believed health insurance is $12 a year. Hicks was the only aide who sat in on the meeting. “She has accepted that he will say things that people find shocking, or upsetting – but she long ago made the decision that she deeply believes in Trump as a leader, and that she wasn’t going to change or judge a 70-year-old man whose career highs have been based on trusting his own instincts,” according to a Politico piece titled “The Untouchable Hope Hicks.”

Starting in August 2017, Hicks served as the interim communications director at the White House, a promotion that came a few weeks after Anthony Scaramucci was ousted after a 10-day stint in the position. The next month, it was reported that this would be her permanent role.

This post was originally published during the campaign and has been updated.

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