Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty; Cheriss May/NurPhoto/Getty
March 09, 2018 03:10 PM

Resignations from the Trump administration are not hard to come by but President Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer says he’s “a little” surprised at the sudden departure of White House communications director Hope Hicks.

“The president really trusts her,” Spicer told PEOPLE at the Champions of Jewish Values Awards Gala in New York City Thursday night. “She is a very, very talented woman who has the trust of the president and I think he was really served well by her. She has got a great head on her shoulders and so she has been a great asset to the administration and the president personally.”

Hicks, one of Trump’s earliest and most loyal aides, tearfully resigned last week after the president reportedly “berated” her over a testimony she recently gave to a congressional investigative committee, according to CNN.  The New York Times reported that Hicks admitted to the House panel that she’s told “white lies” for her boss.

Spicer of course knows the pressures of working in Trump’s White House — and says he doesn’t miss them one bit after he himself resigned last July.

“I miss the people tremendously but I had my time, I cherish it, but Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] is doing a great job and I will let her keep going,” he says, adding that “the stress level and intensity is gone” from his life now.

RELATED VIDEO: Ivanka Trump Bids Adieu to White House Communications Director Hope Hicks: ‘She Is Loved’

Spicer also said he still keeps in touch with the president. Asked how often they speak, he replied, “When he wants.”

The former press secretary — whose book The Briefing, about his turbulent time with the Trump administration, is due out July 23 — says “the president said to me not too long ago that I look ten years younger” since leaving the White House.

So does he feel ten years younger?

“I do!” Spicer said with a laugh.

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