Did Trump See Hope Hicks's 'White Lies' Comment as 'the Final Straw' for His Longtime Aide?

Hope Hicks handed in her resignation just one day after an eight-hour grilling from the House Intelligence Committee, during which she said her job working for President Donald Trump meant she was occasionally required to tell "white lies."

The timing of the resignation of one of Trump's closest aides has prompted questions over whether Hicks's comments led to a backlash from the president.

The former White House communications director, who tendered her resignation on Wednesday, refused to answer a string of questions from the committee but did make comments during the session that may have angered Trump and may well explain her departure from the role.

Indeed, a report from CNN's Erin Burnett suggested Trump had made it clear he was not happy with Hicks following the revelation that she sometimes needed to tell "white lies" in her role, according to a close ally of the president who spoke with Burnett.

Trump asked Hicks "how she could be so stupid," after the testimony, Burnett said, adding, "Apparently, that was the final straw for Hope Hicks."

The longtime member of Trump's inner circle had just last week been named the most powerful person in Trump's Washington by GQ magazine, which prized her apparent staying power with Trump. Other close allies have been swiftly dispatched over various errors.

But the once-background figure in Trump's posse hit headlines in recent weeks over the resignation of her now ex-boyfriend White House aide Rob Porter amid domestic abuse claims by his former partners and, pertinently to the ongoing Russia probe, the allegation that she promised the emails Donald Trump Jr. received offering dirt on Hillary Clinton would "never get out."

Her appearance before the committee on Tuesday saw Hicks spend 20 minutes outlining the topics she would not be discussing, including her time working in the Trump White House and on the transition team.

However, New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman suggested the timing of Hicks's resignation was nothing more than circumstantial, stating she had been planning to leave for some time.

Hope Hicks departure is NOT about yesterday's hearing, per multiple sources. She had planned it before, had been thinking about it for months. She had informed a very small number of people prior to Hill hearing that she planned to leave.

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 28, 2018