Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
The Trump administration and Fox are well-known for their tendency to hire from each other. But the president’s newest senior adviser appears to be the first to go from the White House to Fox and then back again.
Hope Hicks, aka the “Trump Whisperer,” is returning to the White House for a second time as a senior adviser to the president, according to multiple reports on Thursday. Hicks, a close aide to Trump throughout the 2016 campaign who eventually rose to become the White House communications director, left the administration in March 2018.
In her new role, Hicks will serve as a “counselor to the president” and report to Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, as well as political director Brian Jack, according to the New York Times. She’ll also work on Trump’s re-election.
“There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks,” Kushner said in a statement provided to the Times. “We are excited to have her back on the team.” Added White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham: “She has always impressed me with her quiet confidence, loyalty, and expertise, and I am beyond thrilled to welcome Hope back to the White House.”
During her tenure with the campaign and later at the White House, Hicks became known for her calming effect on the unpredictable Trump, almost like a “security blanket,” as one source close to Trump described to Vanity Fair. “He trusts her and relies on her like none other,” that person said.
Hicks also has a reputation for placing loyalty to Trump above all else, including the truth. When testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in June 2019, Hicks admitted to telling “white lies” on behalf of the president. She also refused to answer 155 questions from investigators during the hearing, a Politico analysis found.
After leaving the White House, Hicks — who started as a Trump Organization employee working on the company’s real estate and fashion brands — joined the Fox Corporation as the company’s chief communications officer in October 2018. (FOX Corporation, which owns Fox News, spun off from 21st Century Fox after the latter was sold to Disney.)
She’s just the latest in a long line of White House hires from Fox and vice versa. Since leaving the White House last year, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah have joined Fox Corp. as contributors, as did former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan.
On the flip side, former Fox News executive Bill Shine — a longtime deputy to disgraced (and now dead) Fox News head and accused sexual assailant Roger Ailes — joined the White House in 2018. He lasted less than a year before going to work for the president’s reelection campaign.
Former “Fox & Friends” co-host Heather Nauert, who served as a State department spokesperson for nearly two years under Trump, was also briefly a nominee to become the administration’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Correction Feb. 13: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Raj Shah works for Fox News. He works for Fox Corp. The story has been updated.
Cover image: In this March 29, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump points to outgoing White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on her last day before he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)