The majority of Americans are just starting to figure their lives out in their twenties. Most people are just wrapping up college, trying to move out, getting the first job they can find and preparing the long climb up the corporate ladder. Hope Hicks is not like most of us.
The former child model worked for Ivanka Trump for a few months in her early twenties before capturing the attention of her boss’s father. This should come as no surprise, given Donald Trump’s proclivity for models (his ex-wife Ivana, his current wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka, the eponymous modeling agency he founded, many of his sexual assault accusers, etc). The two caught on quickly and soon Hicks was employed as a full-time at the Trump Organization, working directly for its founder.
By twenty-six, Trump had already designated his young employee as his campaign press secretary. To this point, Hicks had absolutely no experience in politics before. Then again, neither did Trump.
Now Hope Hicks is twenty-nine years old and hard at work for the president. In an administration filled with constant reshuffling, Hicks has somehow managed to survive as Trump’s longest-serving political aid. She has somehow outlasted political lifers like Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, ultimately replacing Anthony Scaramucci to become the third Communications Director for the White House in less than a year.
Hicks’ meteoric rise has thrust her into the national spotlight and even earned her a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30 list. She would be looked at quite the success story, if she wasn’t on the verge of getting indicted.
According to a bombshell report this week in the New York Times, a formal legal spokesman for the Trump administration named Mark Corallo will testify to special counsel Robert Mueller that Hope Hicks may have obstructed justice. Hicks allegedly said on a conference call that Donald Trump, Jr.’s e-mails regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting between the eldest Trump son and Russian officials “will never get out” because only a few people have access to them.
The e-mails, of course, did get out after Trump, Jr. inexplicably tweeted them out himself. Hicks’ suggestion to withhold information from investigators is damning if true. Her attorney has since denied the accuracy of the report, but Corallo’s testimony is sure to speak for itself.
Hicks’ age, which made her out to seem like a political prodigy early on, may work against Trump in the long run. Her political inexperience may have been what led her to foolishly suggest criminal activity in front of several people. It also almost certainly propelled her right into Mueller’s crosshairs.
Given her youth, the young Communications Director may have no choice but to cooperate fully with Mueller in order to avoid jail time. That might just mean ratting out the man who has given her everything since she walked into his life four years ago.
The bestselling book Fire and Fury alleges that those in President Trump’s inner circle felt he treated his daughter Ivanka like his wife and Hope Hicks like his daughter. “He seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way,” author Michael Wolff wrote.
Brad Parscale, the digital director during Trump’s campaign, felt like the feelings were mutual. “She loves him like a father in some ways,” he said, “and I think that is an important loyalty to the family.”
That loyalty will now be tested more than ever. Hicks will have to make the decision many other current and former staffers are also currently facing: is protecting Donald Trump is worth a possible prison sentence? With Corallo’s damaging testimony against her, the young employee and her attorney have to be discussing their options behind closed doors.
In a time of tumultuous uncertainty, one thing is for sure: Hope Hicks’ loose lips might have just sunk the Trump ship. Now the youngest White House Communications Director in United States history must decide whether to jump ship and watch her father figure drown or tie herself to the mast in hopes that it will all be okay. In both a literal and metaphorical sense, she might just be the president’s only Hope.