This is the latest name to bob to the surface in the churning Russia investigation: Hope Hicks.
The 29-year-old White House communications director, the youngest person to have that job, prefers to stay in the background. But the spotlight just found her.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that former Trump legal team spokesman Mark Corallo plans to tell special prosecutor Robert Mueller that Hicks hinted at concealing emails about the controversial June 2016 Russia meeting in Trump Tower.
The meeting, between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with a Russian lawyer, has drawn focus from Mueller and congressional investigators alike.
According to The Times, Hicks allegedly told President Donald Trump on a conference call that emails between Don Jr. and Russians “will never get out.”
Her comments, which her lawyer has denied, concerned Corallo, who according to CNN is scheduled to be interviewed by Mueller’s team in the next two weeks.
Hicks, a Southern Methodist University English major and former teen model, isn’t known for making headlines.
Like Ivanka Trump and Kushner, people describe Hicks as an “untouchable” Trump loyalist, the president’s right-hand woman known for following the let-Trump-be-Trump philosophy.
Never on TV, rarely talking to reporters, Hicks “resembles a traditional political spokesperson about as much as Trump resembles Mister Rogers,” Olivia Nuzzi wrote in an extensive profile of her last year for GQ.
Hicks declined to talk to Nuzzi for the story. “Instead, she arranged something more surreal: I could talk about her with Donald Trump, in front of her,” she wrote.
Here are 11 things to know about Hicks.
1. Last woman standing. Hicks, who had no political experience when she joined the Trump campaign as press secretary, became the administration’s third communications director in less than a year when in September she replaced Anthony Scaramucci after he lasted 10 days in the job.
In her first administration job as director of strategic communications, a job created for her, according to Politico, she made the maximum salary for a White House staffer: $179,700.
2. A non-communicative communications director? Reporters who have worked with her describe her as polite, according to Business Insider, though some were frustrated that she was often unreachable on the campaign trail, unresponsive to requests for comments.
She is, wrote Politico, different from Trump’s other aides.
“She stays off television, which has given her some cover and credibility with the media: She has never lied, on the record, in service of the president,” Politico wrote, noting that she declined to comment for its story about her last year “because she prefers to serve the president without a spotlight shining on her.”
3. She has nicknames, too. Hicks hasn’t escaped being given a nickname by Trump, but hers are more flattering than Sloppy Steve and Little Rocket Man. He’s known to call her Hopester and Hopie.
Nuzzi reported in her GQ profile that campaign adviser Sam Nunberg, who referred to Hicks as “very cute,” nicknamed her “Hopesicle.”
4. A house (politically) divided. Hicks was born in 1988 in the tony suburb of Greenwich, Conn., to Caye and Paul Hicks.
Caye was a legislative aide for a Democratic congressman from Tennessee, and Paul was a legislative assistant for a Republican congressman from Connecticut when they married, according to their wedding announcement in The New York Times. Both came from families with long histories in public relations work.
Paul used to work closely with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the league’s executive vice president for communications and public affairs. He is now managing director of The Glover Park Group PR firm.
Hicks has one sister named Mary Grace. They were both teen models for the Ford modeling agency. Hicks appeared in ads for Ralph Lauren and Naturalizer shoes.
5. Lacrosse is her game. Her father played four years of varsity lacrosse at the University of Virginia. Hicks was co-captain of her champion lacrosse team at Greenwich High School and played club lacrosse at SMU.
6. An FOI (Friend of Ivanka). After college Hicks took a job with New York public relations giant Hiltzik Strategies. One big-name client was Ivanka Trump, who in 2014 hired Hicks away to work on her fashion and accessories line, which included a bit of modeling for Ivanka’s website, according to Vogue.
“Hicks grew close to Ivanka and began dressing like the heiress, who seemed worthy of the emulation,” Nuzzi wrote in GQ.
“Ivanka was that rare female corporate leader who is also kind to other women, and she affected an air of competence that seemed to temper the boorishness of the Trump brand. “Conveniently, as Hicks ingratiated herself to Ivanka, she won over The Donald as well — helped by the eager-to-please disposition she’d displayed since childhood.”
7. A gig with a free apartment. A New York Times profile of Hicks in June 2016 noted how Hillary Clinton employed “a half-dozen battle-hardened media handlers who field hundreds of daily requests.
“Mr. Trump has Ms. Hicks, who was working for his daughter Ivanka’s luxury lines and for the Trump real estate brand when the candidate called her to his office in early 2015 and declared that she was joining his campaign.”
Boom. Just like that. On a January day in 2015 she became Trump’s press secretary.
A “shocker,” Hicks’ mother told The Times.
Hicks was working on the 25th floor of Trump Tower with Ivanka when she got the call.
“Mr. Trump looked at me and said, ‘I’m thinking about running for president, and you’re going to be my press secretary,’” Hicks said in a rare interview with New York magazine in April 2016.
“I think it’s ‘the year of the outsider.’ It helps to have people with outsider perspective.”
Hicks had been commuting to work in New York from an apartment she was sharing with her sister in Greenwich.
“Suddenly, she found herself a near-constant presence by Mr. Trump’s side, flying in his jet, living rent-free in a Trump-owned apartment and attending to his mercurial moods,” The Times wrote.
8. Something she’d probably like to forget, part 1. Hicks famously earned a mention on The New York Post’s gossipy Page Six when she and Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski got into a public screaming match one night in June 2016 on 61st Street near Park Avenue in New York.
“Hope was screaming at Corey, ‘I am done with you!’ It was ugly, she was doubled over with her fists clenched. He stood there looking shocked with his hands on his head,” one observer told the Post.
Sources said the fireworks were work-related, having to do with Manafort’s role in the campaign.
9. Something she’d probably like to forget, part 2. Hicks appeared in Michael Wolff’s explosive bestseller “Fire and Fury,” a book dismissed as “complete fantasy” by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Wolff claimed that Hicks had dated Lewandowski and that Trump asked Hicks why she worried about Lewandowski’s bad press after he was fired.
“You’ve already done enough for him,” Trump allegedly told her. “You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have.”
Wolff described Hicks as a “daughter” to Trump.
“Hicks was in fact thought of as Trump’s real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife,” he wrote.
10. Something she’d probably like to forget, part 3. Hicks appeared on the cover of the 2005 “Gossip Girl” spin-off book, “The It Girl,” holding a pair of Manolo Blahniks in her hand.
“We can see the lucrative book deal and title of her eventual memoir now — ‘Donald Trump’s Great Hope: From Gossip Girl to the White House,’” wrote Vogue.
11. A blockbuster of her own? According to New York magazine, her mother told Hicks to write a book about her experience with Trump, something like “Primary Colors,” the fictional novel about Clinton’s first presidential campaign.
Hicks told her mom, “You don’t even know.”