Hope Hicks may be in line for a return to the White House, and critics worry that Donald Trump may be bringing back his former confidant to get their stories straight ahead of the president’s interview with Robert Mueller.
Last weekend, the former White House communications director was seen on board Air Force One as Trump headed to a campaign rally in Ohio. Hicks had left the Trump administration earlier this year to pursue other opportunities, leaving almost immediately after a congressional hearing in which she admitted to lying for the administration. Vanity Fair noted that Hicks may soon be coming back for good, however.
The report noted that Hicks spoke with reporters off the record about possibly returning as Trump’s chief of staff as rumors grow that John Kelly could be on the way out. As the report noted, the rumors of a possible return had a bad appearance to some, who believed that Trump was likely trying to coordinate stories with a close Trump insider seen as a likely witness in the Russia probe.
“Some widely speculated that amidst a week in which Trump was openly talking about the Trump Tower meeting, and privately fretting about his son’s legal exposure, having Hicks on board was, at best, inappropriate, and, at worse, a chance for them to get their stories straight,” the report noted.
The rumors of Hope Hicks returning to the White House come amid growing reports that Donald Trump is prepared to sit down with Robert Mueller’s team for an interview in the Russia probe. As the Washington Post reported, Trump’s team has been in contact with Mueller and made attempts to limit the scope of an interview with Trump by taking any questions about obstruction of justice off the table. That may be difficult, as Trump’s attempts to stymie the Russia probe by firing former FBI Director James Comey have reportedly been a major part of Mueller’s Russia investigation.
With the impasse between the two sides growing, the Washington Post report noted that it is looking increasingly like a showdown about whether Mueller can legally subpoena a U.S. president, which would just be the second time that has ever happened.
Despite the reports this weekend and her off-the-record remarks to members of the press, Hope Hicks has said nothing officially about a potential return to the White House or a place as Donald Trump’s chief of staff.