Breaking: Hope Hicks Resigning

Ken AshfordBreaking News, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment


Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President Trump’s longest-serving advisers, said Wednesday that she was resigning.

Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood his personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.

Ms. Hicks had been considering leaving for several months. She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a perfect moment to leave, according to White House aides.

Her resignation came a day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that in her job, she had occasionally been required to tell white lies but had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

She did not say what her next job would be, and her departure date was unclear, but it is likely to be in the next few weeks.

Yeah, this sounds like something she would have written herself.  While she “could have left at any time” and “there would never be a perfect moment to leave”, probably the WORST time to leave from an optics standpoint is the day after she testified, invoked executive privilege a lot (actually, not even THAT), and revealed how she had to tell white lies to her boss, the President.

I’m sure there is more to the story. I suspect this move is not of her own volition. I don’t think it is because of her testimony, but rather, because she may be in over her head. Hard to believe that a 29-year-old former model might find herself over her head in this line of work, but yup, she probably is.

Then again….

It really doesn’t make sense. She’s only been White House Communication Director for 5-6 months, so how can she “have been considering leaving for several months”?

Here’s her rise to fame:

This is no small thing. Throughout his career, Trump likes to have someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off. That has always been a pretty woman (because… Trump).  In the White House, that was Hope Hicks.  She was a steady influence throughout the campaign and in the first year.  You remember that listening session of the victims of mass gun shootings that Trump had in the White House… and those notes telling him how to be empathetic?

That is the handwriting of Hope Hicks.

She was unhappy though. Didn’t like Washington.  And last week, her boyfriend Rob Porter, the White House Staff Secretary, was fired because of wife-beating allegations.

Then came her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee where she admitted that she had told “white lies” to the press. Well, what else could she say?  She was under oath.  But reportedly, Trump reamed her out (“How could you be so stupid?!?) and that was the last straw.

But besides being out of the public for the most part (until now), Hicks has some legal problems — mostly relating the incident about Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with the Russians. She reportedly said “those emails will never get out”, talking about the emails between Don Jr and those setting up the meeting.  And as Trump’s confidante, she probably knows a LOT about a LOT of things.

Some people feel bad for Hicks, a nice pretty girl in way over her head.  Others, like this guy in the New Yorker, don’t agree:

Hicks, however, is kidding herself if she thinks that her tenure will be judged only for harmless, situational untruths. The white lie is a phrase that goes back to the sixteenth century, at least. “Shakespeare’s World,” a collaboration between the Oxford English Dictionary and the Folger Shakespeare Library, reports that, in 1567, one Ralph Adderly wrote of his brother-in-law, “I do assure you he is unsuspected of any untruth or other notable crime (except a white lie) which is taken for a Small fault in these parts.”

The President’s daily communications are a tangle of falsehoods, defamations, and tall tales, and Hicks was his facilitator, his defender, his explainer. That line of work goes far beyond the scope of “white lies.” Sissela Bok, in “Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life,” writes that white lies are “the most common and the most trivial forms that duplicity can take.” They are lies “not meant to injure anyone.”

The Administration’s penchant for deception is injurious in many ways, not least because it devalues truth as a value in public discourse. Like Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Hicks, even in her camera- and microphone-shy way, spent years being loyal to Trump and his mendacities. She was always prepared to do his bidding, including when there was an ugliness to the bidding: She pushed back hard against the Pope when he dared to criticize the President’s hopes to wall off Mexico. She cast her lot with him and stayed with him as the injuries he inflicted multiplied. A well-reported Politico profile of Hicks portrayed her loyalty as eerily absolute: “Colleagues described Hicks as someone who communicates with Trump in a similar way to his daughter Ivanka––she can express her disagreements to the president privately, but ultimately supports his decisions unquestioningly.”

I don’t know. Power is seductive. You might overlook dysfunction to be near it. I can see the appeal. Glad she is getting out.