She was the communications director who seldom communicated — publicly, at least.
Hope Hicks was Donald Trump's first and, for a while, only political press aide. Yet from the launch of Trump's presidential campaign in June 2015 to her resignation from the White House on Wednesday, Hicks never made a television appearance. Never.
Once, at a campaign victory rally in Alabama in December 2016, Trump summoned Hicks to the microphone and urged her to “say a couple words.”
“Hi,” Hicks said to the cheering crowd. She let out a nervous laugh and added, “Merry Christmas, everyone, and thank you, Donald Trump.”
That was it.
Hicks composed written statements to the press and spoke on background with reporters, but she consistently rebuffed interview requests, even from print outlets. Her low profile set her apart from other well-known Trump aides such as Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, and made her an intriguing figure. As the New York Times's Maggie Haberman wrote when breaking the news of Hicks's departure, “mystique added to the outsized attention she received.”
Erika Harwood wrote in Vanity Fair last fall that “Hope Hicks has made a career out of being the only subtle person in the Trump administration.”
CNN media reporter Brian Stelter recently described Hicks as “the yin to Trump's attention-grabbing yang.”
Hicks is not on Twitter.
HuffPost has called her an “enigma.” The New York Post has described her as a “mystery woman.” Perhaps the best illustration of Hicks's disciplined silence came from journalist Olivia Nuzzi, who wrote in GQ in June 2016 about her attempt to profile the young former model charged with managing Trump's message:
The question, as Hicks exits the White House, is whether she will recede even farther or, no longer in the service of a media magnet, step into the public eye for the first time.