White House communications director Hope Hicks is leaving the White House, after serving President Donald Trump for the first 13 months of his administration.
The news was first reported by the New York Times.
Hicks was working for Trump before he decided to run for president, but transitioned easily into campaign political communications and ultimately the White House. According to the White House, Hicks wanted to explore other opportunities.
“There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks said in a statement. “I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”
Hicks testified to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday for their Russia investigation but was criticized by Democrats for being elusive with her answers.
Trump praised Hicks in a statement, saying that he “totally understood” her decision to leave.
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump said in a statement to the Times. “She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood.”
Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly said in a statement that Hicks was “strategic, poised and wise beyond her years.”
“She has served her country with great distinction,” he said. “To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”
Hicks is one of last remaining original Trump employees in the White House that worked with the president before he decided to run for office. His loyal bodyguard Keith Schiller resigned in September. His aide Dan Scavino remains in charge of the social media.