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Hope Hicks, top Trump adviser who flew with him to debate, tests positive for COVID

Hicks recently traveled on Air Force One with the president to Cleveland for Tuesday’s debate, along with roughly 20 to 30 aides and family members.
Image: Trump Holds Listening Session With Students And Teachers On Mass Shootings
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks attends a listening session hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House on Feb. 21, 2018.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest senior advisers, tested positive for the coronavirus, a source close to the Trump campaign told NBC News on Thursday.

Hicks is among the highest-profile members of the administration to test positive and is in frequent contact with President Trump.

Bloomberg News first reported this story. There is no indication the president has contracted the virus.

Hicks recently traveled on Air Force One with the president to Cleveland for Tuesday’s debate along with roughly 20 to 30 aides and family members and was seen backstage. Hicks was also on the plane traveling to Trump’s rally in Minnesota Wednesday night, along with Kushner and Dan Scavino, another top White House adviser.

From left, Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations Nicholas Luna, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and counselor to President Hope Hicks walk to Marine One to depart from the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 30, 2020.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

Earlier this year, roughly eight staffers, including Secret Service personnel, tested positive for the virus after a Trump rally. A White House cafeteria worker also tested positive for coronavirus in July.

Judd Deere, the White House deputy press secretary, did not confirm Hicks’ positive test results in a statement to NBC News but instead described the administration’s safety precautions.

“The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” he said. “White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling.”

The former White House communications director and top press aide to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign returned to the White House in February to work closely with the president’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner.

Hicks departed the White House in 2018 and took on a senior role in Fox Corp.'s communications office.

Hicks, a former model, had no political experience before she joined the Trump campaign in 2016. Before that, she worked for Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump.

Her 2018 resignation came one day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Hicks was referred to nearly 180 times in former special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the matter.

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