Hope Hicks announced her resignation yesterday, the day after testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee for eight hours and admitting to telling “white lies,” although I would hardly call how she tried to cover up Jared and Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians a “white lie.” It appears that Trump may have forced Hicks’ resignation, too: He apparently berated her after her testimony, and asked “how could you be so stupid?” after admitting to telling white lies. For Hicks, it was the last straw.
All the same, it means that Trump has lost essentially his closest advisor and friend within the White House, months after losing his long-time bodyguard and closest confidante, Keith Schiller.
In fact, at this point, Donald Trump’s inner circle is in shambles, with Schiller gone, Hicks leaving, Jared Kushner embattled, defensive, paranoid, and potentially facing an indictment from Bob Mueller. Kushner has also lost his own communications advisor, Josh Raffel, and fears people inside the White House are “out to get him.” Kushner is also in big trouble for receiving sizable loans last year from companies whose CEO’s Kushner met in the White House. Meanwhile, Ivanka is getting drubbed by the media, and after reports of two affairs have surfaced in recent weeks, I’m sure Melania is even more chilly toward her husband than she usually already is.
Trump has no friends left inside the White House, and John Kelly tries to make it as difficult as possible for Trump to communicate with the friends he does have outside the White House. But what Trump does have inside the White House are people who aren’t exactly big fans of his. John Kelly, for one. H.R. McMaster, for another. There’s no love lost between Trump and Rex Tillerson, and Trump appears to loathe his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, whom Trump apparently refers to as Mr. Magoo in private. What’s more, Sessions was seen dining last night with Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump hates almost as much as Sessions. The dinner comes on the same day that Trump called Sessions out again, and it is unmistakably a show of solidarity between Sessions and Rosenstein, a poke in the eye of Trump.
Meanwhile, Mueller continues to investigate Trump, focusing now on comments he made in private when he tried to fire Sessions last summer. Efforts to undermine the FBI have also backfired — in fact, the intelligence community feels emboldened now to call Trump out for not pressing Russia on meddling charges — and Trump’s performance yesterday with lawmakers on the topic of gun reform is likely to alienate him again from his own Republican colleagues in Congress.
Trump has lost Schiller, Hope and Jared and Ivanka are on the ropes. Meanwhile scandal after scandal after scandal is breaking. Trump has never been more isolated. Dangerous times for the presidency.— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) March 1, 2018
And you know what? We don’t even talk about this:
I know things seem crazy here today, but don't forget there is a Belarussian escort w known ties to Oleg Deripaska in a Thai prison who says she can bring down Trump & Trump Org employees have locked themselves in a Trump hotel in Panama and are in an armed standoff w police.— Ken Gude (@KenGude) February 28, 2018
Or there’s also this: Someone — who may or may not be, uh, “John Barron” — has forged a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Donald Trump. Twice.
Indeed, Axios notes that “we have never seen top officials [in the White House] this concerned, defeated.” People are resigning left and right, and Trump can’t seem to find anyone to fill those positions. No one wants to work with him, which is why he keeps returning to guys he’s already fired, like Anthony Scaramucci and Corey Lewandowski, for advice.
For Donald Trump, it’s all going to hell, y’all. He is miserable, and we could not be more giddy about that.