Afternoon Briefing: Hope Hicks Announces Resignation; Trump Loses Grip on Sanity During Gun Reform Meeting
The big news that just broke is that Hope Hicks is reportedly resigning as Trump’s communications director. She didn’t really offer any reason, although it is worth noting that the resignation announcement comes the day after she testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee. From the NYTimes:
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.
No departure date was given, nor did she detail where her future plans are.
Donald Trump has been in office for 13 months. Jason Miller, Sean Spicer (for a time), Mike Dubke, Anthony Scaramucci and Hope Hicks have all held the title of communications director, and the position is open yet again.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 28, 2018
maybe the real communications director was the friends we made along the way— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 28, 2018
Meanwhile, Donald Trump had another one of those meetings where he sat around with lawmakers and discussed legislation in front of the press, thinking it would afford him a day or two worth of good press.
I don’t even know where to begin here. The things that he said? They are mostly things that his Administration does not believe, and that people like Sarah Sanders will have to spend three days walking back. Basically, he advocated for Democratic positions, talked shit about the NRA, and then went off the rails and suggested that due process should be suspended when it comes to taking guns away from people.
In short, Trump:
— Said that he would ban bump stocks by executive order
— Said that domestic abusers should not get guns
— Trashed Obama for not pushing for enough gun reform
— Trashed a Republican Senator — Pat Toomey — who actually tried to push bi-partisan gun reform legislation for “being afraid of the NRA.”
— Suggested that AR-15s could only be bought on the black market (Senator Feinstein had to correct him, and tell him that they could be bought in a store)
— He advocated for stronger background checks
— But also advocated for getting rid of gun-free zones at schools
— But also advocated for taking guns away from mentally ill people “immediately”
— He suggested that violent movies and television were part of the problem, and advocated a rating system for “terror”
— Said that he didn’t understand how his son, Barron, is able to watch violent movies. “The video games, movies, the internet stuff is so violent. It’s incredible. I get to see things that you wouldn’t be — you would be amazed at. I have a very young son who I look at some of the things he’s watching and I say, how is that possible?”
— Said that the NRA has a lot of power over Republicans but not over him
— On arming teachers, he suggested that mass shooters wouldn’t enter a school knowing that they would end up dead (most mass shooters commit suicide): “The reason I like it — I believe it will prevent it from happening. They are cowards and they’re not going in [to schools] when they know they’re going to come out dead. They’re not going into a school where they know they’re going to come out dead.”
— I think the most striking exchange, however, was with Mike Pence, when Trump basically advocated suspending due process:
President Trump proposes taking guns away from owners before going to court.— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 28, 2018
"By the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures, I like taking the guns early." pic.twitter.com/ZtNNwyzTzA
Yeah. No clue what’s going on here. This explanation is as good as any:
Guys, guys, he’s playing 4D chess here. That’s the kind where you throw the pieces so far up in the air that they hit you in the head and you forget what day it is.— Jonathan M. Katz (@KatzOnEarth) February 28, 2018
Chris Hayes probably has it right, too.
Everyone realizes that literally nothing said in this meeting matters at all right?— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 28, 2018
Another one of those “What the fuck” days, huh?
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