White House communications director Hope Hicks will resign, the White House confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The New York Times first reported her impending departure -- it is unclear when exactly she will leave, although it will be soon.
"There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump," Hicks said in a statement. "I wish the president and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country."
Hicks' departure comes a day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee, and a day after it was reported that White House deputy communications director Josh Raffel is leaving the White House.
Who is Hope Hicks?
Hicks, 29, has been a central piece of the Trump operation since the beginning of the presidential campaign. Hicks entered the Trump campaign with no real political experience. Her family was friends with the Trumps, and she was once a model for Ralph Lauren. But her ability to navigate the unpredictability that comes with being a part of the Trump orbit made her one of the president's closest confidantes. Mr. Trump said he will "miss having her by my side."
"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," the president said in a statement. "I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future."
What is Hope Hicks' relationship to White House controversies?
Hicks' proximity to Mr. Trump has made her of particular interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the congressional intelligence committees as they investigate Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates. Hicks provided limited information to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, when she. Ranking member Adam Schiff, D-California, said Hicks' refusal to answer the committee's questions about her time in the White House made for "a breathtakingly broad claim of privilege that I don't think any court would sustain, and I think the White House knows that."
The media-shy Hicks was thrust into the spotlight last month after allegations surfaced that then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter had abused his ex-wives. Hicks, at the time, was dating Porter, and was involved in crafting an initial statement defending him. But as photos of the alleged abuse emerged, scrutiny on Hicks and White House chief of staff John Kelly intensified, and Porter resigned.
Hicks is the fourth White House communications director to leave the post in barely a year. Her predecessors included Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and Michael Dubke.
Where is she going, and who will take her place?
It's unclear at this point who will be the next communications director. It's likely an interim communications director will be selected in the meantime.
While Mr. Trump said she is turning to other opportunities, it's unclear what that will be. The White House did not say.