President Donald Trump’s former communications director Hope Hicks – one of his most influential confidantes and a longtime loyalist – is expected to return to the White House in an adviser role, a White House official confirmed to CNN.
She will return to an administration gearing up for reelection and serve a President freshly intent on ridding his team of aides he views as disloyal.
Long seen as a stabilizing force on a boss who likes chaos, Hicks will be “working closely” with Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as White House political director, Brian Jack, the official said.
She won’t be returning to the communications department, the official said.
Her official title will be counselor to the President, two people familiar with the move told CNN.
“There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks. We are excited to have her back on the team,” Kushner said in a statement.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham added in a statement that she’s “beyond thrilled to welcome Hope back to the White House.”
Her return to the executive branch has been under consideration for a while, though it has been unclear, initially, if she would come back before the 2020 presidential election, one source said.
The Hicks news was announced as Trump – emboldened after being acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial – moves to dismiss officials he regards as working against his agenda.
Bloomberg first reported Hicks’ return to the White House.
Hicks resigned from her role as communications director in 2018, a day after she told lawmakers in closed-door testimony that she had told white lies in the course of her duties.
The panel interviewed Hicks about any knowledge she has of contacts that occurred between other Trump associates and Russians.
Hicks appeared to have firsthand knowledge of a number of key events that shaped the first year of the Trump White House, including being on Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians was crafted.
Her departure also came in the wake of a scandal involving former senior aide Rob Porter, whose public defense Hicks helped craft while also dating him at the time.
Porter resigned in disgrace after two of his ex-wives publicly accused him of domestic abuse.
Following her departure, she worked as the chief communications officer at Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News.
She was once the recipient of Trump’s repeated phone calls, the witness to his angriest moments, and according to other campaign aides, the person who steamed wrinkles out of his pants. Hicks was also one of the few trusted aides who was often spotted in the White House residence.
But her relationship with Trump shifted dramatically after she left the White House.
While testifying last June, Hicks told lawmakers she has only spoken to Trump between five and 10 times since she left the White House.
However, Hicks remained in close contact with Kushner and other top White House aides.
A onetime model, Hicks joined the Trump Organization working in public relations with Ivanka Trump and moved to Trump’s presidential campaign early in the race. She remained one of the few aides to follow him from his political beginnings to the White House.
Hicks maintained a close relationship not just with the President – who called her “Hopey” – but with members of his family, including Ivanka Trump and Kushner.
At the White House, Hicks carried out her previous communications role barely uttering a single word in public – no television interviews and only a few scattered appearances at microphones alongside Trump.
Trump’s fresh attempts at finding loyalists for key White House positions has also extended to his longtime personal aide John McEntee, who has been tapped to head up the presidential personnel office at the White House, according to an administration official.
McEntee recently rejoined the White House more than a year after he was forced out over a security clearance issue by then-White House chief of staff John Kelly.
In the new role, McEntee will be responsible for vetting and hiring candidates to work in the White House and in top roles throughout the administration.
The move is part of an effort by the President to reinstate longtime loyalists to key positions in his administration.
Trump lashed out at Kelly on Twitter on Thursday, claiming his onetime top aide was “way over his head” in the role after Kelly publicly rebuked some of Trump’s positions.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak, Jeremy Diamond, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.