Former White House communications director Hope Hicks was spotted boarding Air Force One ahead of President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Delaware, Ohio on Saturday.
Hicks was among a handful of Trump aides boarding the presidential aircraft in New Jersey’s Morristown Municipal Airport, according to a White House press pool report.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 4, 2018
SPOTTED at Morristown, NJ airport ahead of Air Force One departure for Trump’s Ohio rally: Hope Hicks pic.twitter.com/eZgvASvfwj
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) August 4, 2018
The White House and Hicks did not comment on why the former Trump aide boarded Air Force One.
Hicks exited the White House after serving as a trusted aide to Trump for the first 13 months of his presidency. “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks said in her departing statement. “I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”
Following Hicks’ announcement, President Trump lavished praise on the 29-year-old, calling her “a truly great person.”
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” the president said. “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 issued his own statement, describing Hicks as “strategic, poised and wise beyond her years.” “She has served her country with great distinction,” Kelly said. “To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”
Prior to joining the White House, Hicks was the communications director of the Trump Organization.