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Hope Hicks returns to the White House as her old boss rips Trump

‘He misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut,’ Trump tweets of former chief of staff John Kelly

In this March 29, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump poses for members of the media with then White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on her last day on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Hicks, one of Trump’s most trusted and longest-serving aides, is returning to the White House. Hicks will be serving as counselor to the president, working with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Two prominent Trump administration alumni took different turns in their relationship with the president Thursday. Former communications director Hope Hicks returned to the White House as a “counselor” to President Donald Trump, after her ex-boss former chief of staff John Kelly chastised Trump in a speech Wednesday night.

The president, as he often does, responded on Twitter.

The return of Hope

Hicks, known as the president’s confidant, is returning to the White House after a near two-year hiatus. Her new title will be “counselor to the president” and will be assigned to presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s staff, The New York Times reported Thursday.

“There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks,” Kushner said in a statement.

Hicks — who announced her resignation in 2018 after she testified to the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — returns to a very different White House. She enters an administration in the midst of reelection, recovering from impeachment and acquittal, a divided Department of Justice and a new executive chief of staff.

Kelly blasts Trump on Vindman firing, immigration and North Korea

Kelly — fired in late 2018 — defended former National Security Counsel adviser Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in a speech at Drew University in New Jersey Wednesday night, saying the impeachment witness was following his training, and was not “insubordinate” as Trump had accused.

“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” said Kelly, a retired United States Marine Corps general, according to The Atlantic.

Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, speaks at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Morristown, N.J. The retired Marine Corps general criticized President Donald Trump on several issues during the Drew University Forum lecture series, including the recent ouster of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council aide and impeachment witness.
Karen Mancinelli, Drew University via Associated Press

Vindman — who was fired last week — testified that the president’s “perfect” phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had been inappropriate.

“He went and told his boss what he just heard,” said Kelly.

Kelly also told the crowd he disagreed with the scope of Trump’s immigration policy — which Kelly managed as secretary of Homeland Security before becoming chief of staff — and with the president’s personal approach to North Korean nuclear disarmament, according to The Atlantic.

Trump strikes back

The president lashed back at his former chief of staff Thursday morning.

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head,” Trump tweeted. “Like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do.”

The president tweeted his ire not at the content of Kelly’s remarks, but to a perceived lack of fealty.