Fourth time lucky? Former model Hope Hicks is Trump's new spin doctor in chief

The Guardian-3 years before

Hicks, who has been working as Donald Trump’s director of strategic communications, was drafted into the administration’s most high-profile media relations job to replace Anthony Scaramucci, whose 11-day tenure as White House communications director ended after an expletive-filled tirade to a reporter.

Anthony Scaramucci Her promotio... to the post on an interim basis comes during one of the biggest communications challenges in recent memory.

After Trump went off message and blamed “both sides” for deadly violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, criticism of the president was strong.

blamed “both sides” criticism of the president was strong Members of Congress in both parties urged a defiant president to more forcefully denounce the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched through the college town. Other lawmakers openly questioned the president’s competence and moral leadership. Business leaders whom Trump, a businessman himself, enjoyed inviting to the White House fled the advisory boards they had agreed to serve on, while leaders of the armed services denounced racism and hatred without naming their commander in chief.

Repairing the breach, or at least keeping it from growing, is among the most immediate tasks facing the native of Greenwich, Connecticut.

“Hope is a terrific person and will do a great job. Wishing her the best,” Scaramucci tweeted after the White House announced Hicks’ promotion.

She will now help shape and steer the White House message the fourth person in less than a year – comes aboard.

“Hope is wise beyond her years and is someone I trust to always be there for the president,” said Brad Parscale, the digital director of Trump’s presidential campaign who, like Hicks, was one of Trump’s few original campaign members. “I have been disappointed in seeing so many use President Trump as an opportunity to maximize their own self-interest.”

Hicks has long served as a gatekeeper to Trump. As was the arrangement during the campaign, media requests to interview the president go through Hicks, and she was the only aide in the Oval Office when Trump sharply criticised attorney general Jeff Sessions in a recent New York Times interview. She does not do television appearances.

She will try to succeed in a role previously occupied by Scaramucci, Michael Dubke, who resigned in May, and before that, Sean Spicer, who for a spell combined the communication director job with that of press secretary.

who resigned in May “His campaign was about millions of Americans across this country who have been left behind,” Parscale said, adding that Hicks understands that and “truly wants to see President Trump succeed”.

A former Ralph Lauren fashion model and public relations pro who worked for Trump’s daughter Ivanka, Hicks had no political background when she signed on for the celebrity businessman’s fledgling campaign in 2015. Soon, she essentially became a one-woman communications shop for an unconventional campaign that attracted unprecedented media attention.

She approved interview requests, often tapped out tweets he dictated and remained at his side as he barnstormed the country.

Hicks followed her parents, Paul and Caye Hicks, public relations professionals, into the business. After graduating in 2010 from Southern Methodist University with a degree in English, she moved to New York and worked with Hiltzik Strategies, which has also worked for Hillary Clinton — as did her father. Paul Hicks used to do communications for the NFL, and is now managing partner at a firm in Washington. In 2014, Hicks joined the Trump Organization to help promote Ivanka’s merchandise. A year later, Trump brought her onto the campaign.

She attracted considerable media attention on her own, but largely eschewed face-to-face interactions with reporters, and almost never joined them for off-the-record socializing. Her interactions were almost always limited to the phone and email.

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