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White House learned of Hicks's positive test before Trump left for fundraiser: Meadows

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE told reporters that the White House learned that 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 had tested positive for the coronavirus just before President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE’s helicopter departed the White House on Thursday for a fundraiser.

“We discovered that right as Marine One was taking off yesterday. We actually pulled some of the people that had been traveling and in close contact,” Meadows told reporters at the White House on Friday morning, hours after Trump revealed that he and the first lady had also tested positive.

Hicks traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One to the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to campaign appearances in Minnesota on Wednesday. Despite knowing of her positive case, Trump still traveled to a campaign fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Thursday afternoon.

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Asked later why Trump still attended the event, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that it had been "deemed safe." 

“It was deemed safe for the president to go. He socially distanced. It was an outdoor event and it was deemed safe by White House operations for him to attend that event," McEnany said. 

News outlets, including The Hill, reported that Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, had tested positive Thursday evening.

Trump revealed in a tweet early Friday morning that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform Jill Biden unveils next phase of military families program MORE had tested positive for COVID-19 and would begin to quarantine.

Meadows, who was not wearing a mask when he spoke with reporters at the White House, has tested negative for the virus in the wake of the news. Other White House officials including Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpTrump alumni launch America First Policy Institute Four players lead Florida's golden age of Republican dominance GAO hammers Ivanka Trump's policy program MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump alumni launch America First Policy Institute Fauci fatigue sets in as top doc sows doubt in vaccine effectiveness The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE and Vice President Pence have also received negative tests. Meadows acknowledged Friday that more individuals were likely to test positive for the virus.

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“We’ve tested all of our core staff, and I can tell you that Mr. Kushner, Mr. [Dan] Scavino, myself, a number of us have been tested have come back with negative results,” Meadows told reporters.

“And yet, at the same time I fully expect that, as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result, and we’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure the government not only continues to move forward but the work of the American people continues to move forward,” he continued.

President Trump is said to be experiencing mild symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus. The president has had a busy schedule of campaign and official events over the past week, raising questions about the potential for more cases. It is not known when Trump was exposed to the virus.

Brett Samuels contributed. Updated at 2:26 p.m.