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Trump Covid test: Who is Hope Hicks?
[ October 2, 2020 | via BBC ]

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania contracted Covid-19 after his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.

That's not an especially well-known name - the president's adviser is a 31-year-old former model who likes to keep under the radar.

Hope Hicks replaced Anthony Scaramucci as the president's communications director when he was fired after 10 days in 2017.

She didn't have a background in politics, but had been connected to the Trump family for the preceding five years.

Her political career with Mr Trump has been a bumpy one - she resigned from one role, only to return later in a different position on his team.

So how did someone with such a low profile get one of the most important jobs in the US government?

She came to Donald through Ivanka Trump

Hope Hicks started her career in public relations, where Ivanka Trump's fashion company was one of her clients.

Having modelled for the likes of Ralph Lauren - as well as appearing on the cover of a Gossip Girl spin-off book - she modelled some of Ivanka's clothes as part of her job.

Working with the eldest daughter of Donald Trump meant Hope Hicks eventually caught the eye of the US president.

He personally hand-picked her in October 2014 to work in PR for his real estate company.

Donald Trump later told GQ that he thought "Hope was outstanding".

She ended up in politics by accident

In early 2015, she was thrust into the political sphere when she went with Donald Trump on a trip, which turned out to be the first part of his presidential campaign.

She even helped run his Twitter account, noting down what he wanted to say and ordering others in the Trump organisation to tweet them.

When the campaign got more serious, she had to decide between becoming a full-time political press secretary or going back to work for the Trump real estate company.

She chose the latter. But again, Donald Trump personally asked her to stay on his political team. She accepted.

She's kept a low profile throughout

Hope Hicks rarely gives interviews herself, although she has been there when Donald Trump is interviewed by journalists.

And when she started working on the presidential campaign, she deleted her Twitter account. Her Instagram profile is private.

This quote which her former lacrosse coach gave to the Washington Post sums up her attitude well.

"[Hicks] preferred to have assists. She was the ultimate team player and competitor."

When Donald Trump became president, he created a new role for Hope Hicks: White House director of strategic communications.

Her way of dealing with the president is not to try and change him, but to simply enable him in what he wants to do.

According to a Politico article, Hope Hicks is one of the few true insiders in the Trump family, even having Shabbat dinners (special meals in the Jewish faith) with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

She was also one of the few people who got to meet the Pope with Donald Trump in May 2017.

Out of the White House... and back in again

Hope Hicks resigned in February 2018, one day after she testified to Congress that she occasionally told white lies on Mr Trump's behalf.

In the interim she worked for Fox News, but returned to the president's team earlier this year.

According to BBC White House reporter Tara McKelvey at the time, the reason was simple. "She said little, yet seemed to know the president's secrets."

Tags: covid19, panoptikos, politics, usa

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