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White House Communications Director To Resign

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WASHINGTON, D.C -

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks will resign, CBS News' Jillian Hughes confirmed Wednesday. The New York Times first reported her impending departure — it is unclear when exactly she will leave, but 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, 29, has been a central part of the Trump operation since the beginning of the 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."

Hicks' proximity to 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 testified for nine hours. Ranking member Adam Schiff, D-California, said Hicks' refusal to answer the committee's questions 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 arose 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. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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