Is Hope Hicks Coming Back to the White House? Trump Open to Ex-Communications Aide's Return

President Donald Trump hinted in an exchange with reporters on Air Force One Friday that former communications aide Hope Hicks could be making a return to the White House.

"I love Hope. She's great. I hope that — I've been hearing little things like that," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked if Hicks would come back to the White House, according to the pool report.

GettyImages-939737742 US President Donald Trump points to former communications director Hope Hicks shortly before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn and departing from the White House on March 29, 2018. Hicks is reportedly a contender to replace John Kelly as chief of staff. Getty Images

"I think everybody misses it," Trump continued. "You people exhaust a lot of people. They come in full of life and vim and vigor and then they're exhausted.

"Many people would like to come back. Look, there is nothing more exciting than what we're doing," Trump added.

Trump’s comments follow multiple reports White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is set to depart his role. 

According to two sources cited in a Friday report in Vanity Fair Hicks, who quit as White House communications director in February, is an outside candidate to replace Kelly. Hicks has told people that she would accept the role if it was offered to her but is not pursuing it, according to the report. 

The Wall Street Journal was among publications to report earlier this week that retired Marine Corps general Kelly is to step down from his role imminently, with White House budget office chief Mick Mulvaney and Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers considered the front runners to replace him. 

If she gets the job, Hicks would be the first woman appointed to the role, and the youngest chief of staff since Lyndon Johnson appointed James R. Jones to the role at the age of 29. 

Trump told reporters on Air Force One Friday that Kelly is a “wonderful man” with whom he's “achieved a lot.” When asked how long Kelly is likely to stay in his job, Trump said he did not know. 

“That I can't tell you. But I can say we've had a very good relationship,” Trump offered. “I like John a lot.”