Hope Hicks, White House Communications Director and President Donald Trump’s longest-serving aide, announced her resignation on Wednesday.
Hicks served as press secretary for Trump’s campaign before being invited to join the President’s staff. The 29-year-old has long been a member of the Trump family’s tight circle.
Hicks was asked to step into the interim communications director position vacated by short-lived director Anthony Scaramucci, before she was given the permanent title as Trump’s fourth director in his first year as President.
Prior to her Presidential ties, the former model worked for Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand.
The news of Hope Hicks’ resignation comes just one day after she appeared before the House Intelligence Committee in regards to their investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Lawmakers claim that during her testimony, Hicks said she occasionally tells “white lies” for the president.
Hicks, who has not revealed her exact depart date, says she wants to pursue endeavors outside of the White House.
The President issued a statement thanking Hicks for her service.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” the president said. “I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”
According to reports by NBC News, White House officials have stated that Hicks was considering leaving before the domestic abuse scandal involving former White House staffer Rob Porter was widely covered by the media. Porter resigned earlier this month.
Although White House staff say that Hicks spoke with communications and press teams today regarding her resignation, she did not give the group a specific reason for her departure.
The sources added that the White House Communications Director was emotional and prone to tears when announcing her departure.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, said on Wednesday that Hicks’ departure had “nothing to do with yesterday,” in regards to her testimony before the House panel.
Sanders added that Hicks’ departure had been in the works for “several weeks” and “didn’t happen overnight.”
The White House press secretary said that Hope Hicks desired to spend more time with family and that Trump is “not unhappy with her in any capacity.”