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Hope Hicks, former top aide to Trump, to return to the White House as re-election campaign heats up

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks arrives for closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

One of the president’s longest serving aides and closest confidantes is returning to the White House after leaving in 2018.

Hope Hicks, the president's former communications director who served an outsize role in the White House and spent many hours a day in the Oval Office, will rejoin the administration, officials said Thursday.

She will work for Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and political adviser, the White House said, on political affairs and other "strategic" matters. She will not be part of the White House communications shop.

"There is no one more devoted to implementing President [Donald] Trump's agenda than Hope Hicks. We are excited to have her back on the team," Kushner said.

Hicks left the White House to become a senior executive at Fox in California and had embraced a different life, people close to her said. But she was repeatedly courted by Kushner and others to rejoin the White House, and Trump continued to call her periodically, White House aides said.

Hicks began working for Trump before he announced his candidacy and had been a trusted confidante for three years, shaping his image and counseling him on nearly all matters, from the substantive to the trivial. The president would regularly yell for Hicks to come into the Oval Office.

Hicks exerted extraordinary influence in Washington and was treated by the president almost as a surrogate daughter even as other aides said she knew little about policy.

But she left the administration in 2018 after she drew scrutiny from then-special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and her personal relationship with Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary who left after former wives accused him of abuse was revealed by the Daily Mail.

Hope Hicks refused to tell House panel whether she had lied for senior Trump officials, lawmakers say

Hicks had admitted to the House committee that she told "white lies" on the president's behalf, and that she was involved in crafting a misleading statement on Air Force One about a meeting between Trump family members and Russians in Trump Tower.

Hicks will return to a much different White House than the one she left - one where only a few campaign aides remain, including Dan Scavino, the president’s social media manager and senior adviser, and Kellyanne Conway, who serves as counselor to the president.

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