Donald Trump is growing upset with Hope Hicks and the role she reportedly played in defending top White House aide Rob Porter against allegations that he assaulted former wives, creating a fracture in what has been one of the president’s closest relationships.
This week, allegations against White House deputy Porter emerged from his ex-wives, and the White House initially came out in defense of the top aide. But as CNN reported, Porter’s rumored girlfriend, Hope Hicks, played a key role in drafting the statement that supported Porter, one that was distributed without Trump’s knowledge.
As CNN added, Trump told associates that he is “dismayed” at how Hicks handled the situation, and the fallout it has caused. Though Trump has refused to condemn Porter amid the allegations, the top aide has been fired and the White House has been accused of covering up the allegations. A source told CNN that Trump believes Hope Hicks put her own interests above his own, and that Trump is upset with the negative press he has received — though not necessarily with the actual allegations against Porter.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly knew about the allegations against Porter, but did not conduct an internal investigation, the report noted.
The report shows a rift in what has been one of Donald Trump’s closest relationships in the White House outside of his own family members. In his tell-all book about Trump’s first year in the White House, author Michael Wolff said that Trump’s staffers see Hicks as a daughter to Trump.
“[Hope] Hicks was in fact thought of as Trump’s real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife,” Wolff wrote, via Newsweek.
Hicks now remains one of the few surviving staff members to join Trump in the White House last year, with a series of top officials leaving amid scandal and conflicts with Trump.
Hope Hicks is actually the longest-serving political aide to Donald Trump, first joining his company before his presidential run after having worked with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. The White House drama surrounding Hope Hicks is not likely to put her job in jeopardy, a source told CNN, but it does show a new scandal for a White House that has been striving to find stability.