When thinking about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a few things come to mind: his hair, his strong words, and his bright red hats with the now famous slogan. But have you ever wondered who’s behind it all? Well, believe us when we say it’s not who you’d expect.
Hope Hicks is a 27-year-old Connecticut native and works as Trump’s press secretary. She’s also in charge of his media relations. As a child, Hicks modeled for Ralph Lauren and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2010. Two years later, in 2012, Hicks made her entrance into New York public relations. It was soon after, in 2014, that Hicks was given the chance to lead the Trump Organization.
Details of Hicks’ life remained relatively unknown, until political reporter Olivia Nuzzi sat down with the powerful woman for a unique interview with GQ. Trump was also in the room as it was Hicks’ only condition to being interviewed.
Here’s what you need to know about the woman behind the major GOP campaign.
Hicks had no previous political experience before becoming Trump’s right hand woman.
Hicks identifies as a “dispassionate Republican” and rightly so. She had absolutely no political experience, not even volunteer work, but this didn’t stop the ambitious 27-year-old from managing one of the most important presidential campaigns of 2016. Although Trump himself has no political experience either, he was doubtful of his press secretary being the same. Despite this, Trump praises Hicks for adapting quickly to her job. “[S]he was able to build political experience quickly. She was very natural,” he told Nuzzi. “She was very natural when it comes to picking it up, and a lot of people can’t pick it up, because it’s so fast-moving. It’s faster-moving than anything else.”
— Marie Claire (@marieclaire) June 20, 2016
Hicks has worked for a different Trump.
Hicks was working for a New York public relations firm when she had the opportunity to help Ivanka Trump with her fashion line. Hicks grew close to the blonde beauty because Ivanka was the “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.” Trump took notice of their close professional relationship and soon after hired Hicks in 2014.
Hicks had her share of office drama.
Sam Nunberg, a former political advisor to Trump, showed special interest in Hicks when she joined the campaign. Nunberg gave Hicks a copy of Running for Office and along with that, gave her the nickname “Hopesicle.” Nunberg was later fired over racist Facebook rants, and Hicks wrote the fierce statement that announced his termination. In it Hicks called Nunberg a “low-level part-time consultant.” Ouch.
She didn’t want to be the permanent press secretary.
Hicks wanted to go back to Trump corporate offices. She told Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski that he needed to find someone else to take over her role. He wasn’t pleased. “You made a big f*cking mistake; you’re f*cking dead to me.” But Hicks remained part of the campaign because of Donald’s pleas.
Hicks has dealt with Trump’s tantrums.
Trump deals firsthand with the many stories written about him. Each morning, Trump reads and makes comments on the 30 to 50 stories from Google News results. He points out what he likes and dislikes on each article, which are then scanned and emailed back to the corresponding reporting. If you receive an email with the subject “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” you have been reviewed by Trump himself. The presidential candidate has gone as far as banning journalists from himself and his campaign, when he’s really ticked off by an article. Hicks, of course, manages that blacklist, which includes the Washington Post.
Hicks is loyal to Donald Trump.
Hicks takes her job seriously and this includes her utmost loyalty to Trump himself. She willingly limits access to the presidential candidate or simply ignores media outlets that are looking to expose every detail, good or bad, on Trump. It was Hicks who went against Pope Francis who called Trump’s plans for a border wall not “Christian.” She also went up against Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields who had the former campaign manager, Lewandoswki, arrested for misdemeanor battery after allegedly attacking her. Hicks called Fields a “lying attention hound.”