Inappropriate?

Hope Hicks sparks rumors and debate after being photographed on Air Force One

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks appeared alongside President Donald Trump on Air Force One over the weekend, reviving rumors as well as discussion over where Hicks plans on continuing her career following her abrupt resignation from the Trump administration in March. Hicks, a onetime Ralph Lauren model and Trump Organization employee whose work as a political aide on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign helped her become one of the most powerful figures in Trump’s White House, was reportedly visiting the president’s New Jersey golf club to spend time with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner when the president asked if she would tag along with him to a campaign rally in Ohio. She accepted, and was later photographed deplaning Air Force One on the front staircase — which is normally used by the president — instead of the back staircase which is reserved for staffers and press.

Hicks, who resigned from the White House just a day after testifying before a House Committee that she had told “white lies” on behalf of the president and a month after the resignation of her purported romantic interest, Robert Porter, amid multiple credible accusations of spousal abuse, would later say that she left the White House because she couldn’t stand the “infighting” going on around her.

But her reappearance on Air Force One, and the remarks she reportedly made while onboard, raised eyebrows for some. Speaking to reporters on Saturday in what was billed as an off-the-record chat, Hicks further fueled speculation by saying that she would consider returning to the White House someday — perhaps as a replacement for John Kelly as chief of staff — if the timing was right. Others wondered, given her earlier testimony and the path Robert Mueller’s investigation has taken, whether the visit could by viewed as witness tampering by the president.

Given Hicks’ political success — and her powerful connections — her continued unemployment has also become a source of interest for many. According to The New York Post, she was recently seen having lunch with Aryeh Bourkoff, the famed investment banker who Kushner pitched a possible Trump TV network to during the campaign. Speaking to Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox, a source said that Hicks has plenty of opportunities available to her, but that “the biggest issue is finding a place where she feels comfortable … where she feels safe and secure.”

Read the full story at Vanity Fair.

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