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Hope Hicks to return to White House

Hope HicksHope HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus MORE is returning to the White House as a counselor to President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE and senior adviser.

Trump's former communications director will work as a senior adviser for Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJilani: China 'sending clear message' to Biden officials with sanctions that opposition could lead to 'future pay cut' Would Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon MORE's office, the White House confirmed Thursday. 

Hicks is likely to return to the White House sometime in early March, White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE said, though she noted that “details are still being determined.” 

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One of the president’s longest-serving aides, Hicks stepped down from her position in February 2018. She has since been working as an executive vice president and chief communications officer at Fox, which operates properties like Fox News and Fox Sports. 

Hicks was one of the president’s closest advisers dating back to the launch of his campaign in 2015 and worked in the press office at the White House, including as communications director. 

Hicks has a strong relationship with the president and a number of other administration officials, though much has changed since she last worked in the West Wing.

Since her departure, former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE has concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Democrats won control of the House and impeached the president and Trump was acquitted in the Senate. Trump has cycled through another chief of staff and a few more Cabinet secretaries as well.

Allies of the White House cheered the development. 

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“Hope is not only someone with a deep understanding of President Trump, she is immensely loyal to him and his agenda,” said Andy Surabian, a GOP strategist and former White House official who worked with Hicks. 

“Above all else, she is an extremely talented operative who I am sure will serve the president and the American people well in her new role. The White House is lucky to get her back,” Surabian said.

The former model and public relations professional was involved in a handful of controversial incidents during her first stint working for Trump.

She reportedly helped organize the initial response to domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned even as then-chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and others defended his character. Hicks was dating Porter at the time.

Hicks was at the center of controversy last summer when she was called to testify before Congress as part of a House Judiciary Committee probe stemming from Mueller’s investigation. 

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Hicks, who appeared behind closed doors, refused to answer dozens of questions on instructions from the White House that she was immune from compelled congressional testimony about her tenure as a former senior aide to the president.

She is the latest Trump official to cycle between the administration and Fox. While Hicks did not work for Fox News, a number of former staffers have transitioned between the two.

Former press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersHouse Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing Sarah Sanders on Trump's reported war dead criticism: 'Those comments didn't happen' Sarah Sanders memoir reportedly says Trump joked she should hook up with Kim Jong Un MORE Sanders is now a Fox contributor, former communications director Bill Shine came from the network, and former Fox News employee Kimberly GuilfoyleKimberly GuilfoyleRepublicans wrestle over removing Trump Singer Taylor Dayne responds to criticism after Mar-a-Lago performance: 'I try to stay non-political' Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE now works with the president’s campaign.

— This report was updated at 11:28 a.m.