Hope Hicks has resigned as White House communications director.
The announcement came a day after Hope Hicks testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee, but White House sources said this was not the reason.
The 29-year-old former model is reported to have told colleagues she was leaving because she felt she had achieved all she could. Hope Hicks has worked for Donald Trump for years.
Hope Hicks is the fourth person to serve as President Trump’s communications chief.
On February 27, Hope Hicks gave a nine-hour testimony in front of the panel investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
She is reported to have admitted to the panel that she had occasionally told what amounted to “white lies” for President Trump, but she denied lying about anything relevant to the investigation.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders – who described Hope Hicks as “in a league of her own” – said it remained unclear when she would leave the administration.
Hope Hicks’ departure will come as a major blow to President Trump, who said he would miss having her by his side. A former press secretary, Hope Hicks rose through the ranks to occupy the desk closest to the Oval Office.
She kept a low public profile but recently found herself part of a scandal when newspapers exposed that she was in a relationship with White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who had been accused of domestic violence against past partners.
When news of the allegations against Rob Porter broke last month, it was Hope Hicks who helped draft an initial White House statement defending him.
President Trump was reportedly not consulted and was unimpressed with Hope Hicks’ handling of the controversy.
Hope Hicks became head of the White House communications team in August 2017, after the abrupt firing of Anthony Scaramucci.
In a statement, President Trump said: “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.
“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.”
Anthony Scaramucci, speaking on Fox News, said: “She’s one of the least malicious people I’ve ever met in my life. She’s dedicated, she’s charming, she’s thoughtful, at the end of the day she’s going to have an unbelievable career.”
Hope Hicks’ departure comes just after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had his White House security clearance downgraded.