When it was announced on Wednesday that White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was resigning, the speculation began as to why she had decided to leave when she’s long been considered one of President Trump’s most loyal supporters and trusted advisers.
Less than 24 hours later, we’re now learning that Hicks had been planning her exit for months. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tweeted out this shortly after news broke that Hicks would indeed be taking leave of the White House:
Hope Hicks departure is NOT about yesterday’s hearing, per multiple sources. She had planned it before, had been thinking about it for months. She had informed a very small number of people prior to Hill hearing that she planned to leave.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 28, 2018
The hearing Haberman refers to was Hicks’ appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, which went on for a full nine hours and resulted in her telling members of the committee that she often told “white lies” for the president.
February was a bad month for both Hicks and the president, and it all began with the Rob Porter scandal. Porter was serving as a top lieutenant to Chief of Staff John Kelly but couldn’t pass the FBI background check because both of his ex-wives had accused him of domestic abuse. It was later reported that Hicks and Porter were currently involved in a relationship.
So whether the breaking point was the Porter scandal or the growing sense of full blown paranoia engulfing the West Wing as Robert Mueller’s dragnet moves ever closer to the Oval Office, it tells us that this presidency is in utter chaos. As Aaron Blake writes in The Washington Post:
“Whether it’s because of exhaustion in dealing with Trump or the exhaustion in dealing with Washington politics for outsiders like Hicks, or a combination, it seems Trump will have a difficult time maintaining anything resembling a core staff organization. And for a president who has struggled with consistency and is thought to be heavily reliant upon the last person he has spoken to, that’s likely to lead to even more volatility.
“We may yet learn more about Hicks’s departure in the days to come. Nothing about it, though, suggests stability is over the horizon for the White House. If anything was stability for Trump, it was Hicks.”
Hicks is gone. Jared and Ivanka may be next, as new details emerge of Kushner taking large sums of money from investors shortly after meeting with them in the White House.
Though it’s hard to imagine even more disarray in this administration, each day seems to bring yet another measure of mayhem.
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