(CN) – Hope Hicks, who only 24 hours ago told a congressional committee she has told “white lies” to benefit President Donald Trump, is resigning as White House communications director.
In a statement confirming her department, the president said “Hope is outstanding and has done great work.”
“She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” Trump said. “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.”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was equally effusive, described Hicks as “strategic, poised and wise beyond her years.”
“She became a trusted adviser and counselor and did a tremendous job overseeing the communications for the President’s agenda including the passage of historic tax reform. She has served her country with great distinction,” Kelly said. “To say that she will be missed, is an understatement.”
Hicks was interviewed for nine hours on Tuesday by a House panel investigating Russia interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
During the questioning, she acknowledged that she has occasionally told “white lies” for Trump. But she said she had not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.
Earlier this month, she also was drawn into the controversy surrounding former staff secretary Rob Porter, who she had been dating and who resigned amid claims of physical and verbal abuse from his ex-wives.
The White House described Hicks as the president’s longest serving aide having worked with him before he announced his candidacy, through the campaign and into the second year of his administration. She was named White House Communications Director last summer after the abrupt departure of Anthony Scaramucci.
Scaramucci was ousted from the post just 10 days after he got the job.
According to the White House, Hicks told the president several weeks ago that she wanted to leave to explore other job opportunities. She reportedly told Trump her decision was final this morning, shortly after he returned from paying his respects to the late Rev. Billy Graham on Capitol Hill.
In her own statement Wednesday, Hicks said, “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”