Trump alludes that Hope Hicks could return to White House

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE on Friday implied that former communications aide Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Hope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony Nadler subpoenas Lewandowski, former White House official for testimony MORE could return to the White House in some role.

"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 a CNN producer.

"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."

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

Trump's comments en route to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for the weekend came after Vanity Fair reported Friday that Hicks was being discussed as a possible replacement for White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

Hicks, who resigned from her position as White House communications director in February, is among several names being floated for the position and she has told people she'd be interested in the job if it was offered to her, Vanity Fair reported.

The outlet, however, noted that Hicks has said she would not pursue the role. 

The report follows one from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that said that Kelly is expected to leave his role in the Trump administration by the end of July. 

Kelly could leave his role as early as this week or after Trump returns from a scheduled trip to Europe next month, the newspaper reported.

The White House denied the report on Thursday. 

“I spoke to the president who refuted this article. He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters.

Trump on Friday denied that he and Kelly have had a tense relationship, despite recent reports indicating that the chief of staff has loosened his grip amid a worsening relationship with the president.

"We have a very good relationship. He's a wonderful man. John Kelly, four-star, wonderful man. Don't forget, this is a big change for him. This has not been an easy change for him. We have a very, very good relationship," Trump told reporters.

"That I can't tell you," Trump added when asked how long Kelly would continue to serve in the administration. "But I can say we've had a very good relationship, and we've achieved a lot ... I like John a lot. I like him and I respect him."

The Journal reported that the top two candidates to replace Kelly, should he leave, are Office of Management and Budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE and Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers. 

Hicks was one of Trump's longest-serving and closest aides before exiting the White House earlier this year. She previously worked for the Trump Organization before joining Trump's campaign when he launched it in 2015.

Murmurings of Hicks being floated as a potential chief of staff comes the same week that former Fox News executive Bill Shine reportedly accepted a position in the White House communications shop.