I just don't think if you work for a POTUS who has trouble condemning Nazis, loves ripping apart families and has no problem taking away healthcare you get to play the "I had affection for the man and I didn't tune in to the policies" card. https://t.co/Y5Troe0EFP
— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 19, 2018
Trump’s White House assistants are progressing to the “working on their best wide-eyed innocence” stage of self-defence. Perhaps because professional character assassin Olivia Nuzzi was the first reporter to notice the importance of Hicks to the inner circle, hers is the Big Get, for NYMag:
On the morning of Wednesday, February 28, Hope Hicks arrived at the White House just after 8 a.m. Within a week, it would be snowing in Washington, D.C., but she was dressed for spring in a bouquet of purple, yellow, and blue, as if willing the end of winter with her miniskirt. She held on to her iPhone in the West Wing, in violation of a rule that normally diverted it to a locker secured by a shiny silver key, then retreated to her office, a first-floor broom closet that in the past had been assigned to presidential secretaries.
When the administration began 13 months before, competition among some staffers had manifested as a struggle for real estate here; Omarosa Manigault, a perennial reality-TV contestant, had gone so far as to steal a room that had been designated for Anthony Scaramucci, “the Mooch,” a hedge-fund millionaire obsessed with astrology and the word fuck, because of its status-confirming glimpse of the Washington Monument. Both of them were eventually fired, along with a procession of others who failed to maneuver the chaotic status hierarchy President Trump seemed to cultivate out of boredom.
A view of duck-tour buses circling the mall wasn’t needed for Hicks to know her standing. What her office lacked in flair it made up for in proximity. While others were left wondering what the president was thinking, Hicks could often hear him shouting, even with her door closed. “Hope!” he’d scream. “Hopey!” “Hopester!” “Get in here!”
Many requests were mundane. “He doesn’t write anything down,” one source close to the White House told me. “He doesn’t type, he dictates. ‘Take this down, take this down: Trump: richest man on Earth.’” A second source who meets regularly with the president told me that Hicks acted almost as an embodiment of the faculties the Trump lacked — like memory. “He’ll be talking, and then right in the middle he’ll be like, ‘Hope, what was that … thing?’ ” When the name of a senator or congressman or journalist came up, Trump would prompt Hicks to provide a history of their interactions, asking, “Do we like him?” “And she fucking remembers!” (Trump has said his own memory is “one of the greatest memories of all time.”) “She’s the only person he trusts,” the second source continued. “He doesn’t trust any men and never has. He doesn’t like men, you see. He has no male friends. I was just with one of them the other day, someone who’s described as one of his closest friends, and he doesn’t know him very well. But a small number of women, including his longtime assistant back in New York, he really listens to them — especially if he’s not banging them. Because, like a lot of men but more so, Trump really does compartmentalize the sex and the emotional part.”…
Hicks took out one of her notebooks, black leather with the Trump name embossed in gold on the front. She’d prayed a lot over the weekend, and also written two lists in the same bubbly print that had recently been photographed on a note card in Trump’s hand, reminding him to tell survivors of a school shooting, among other things, “I hear you.” One list contained reasons to resign as White House communications director immediately; the other, reasons to wait to resign. Not resigning at all wasn’t a consideration.
She’d come close twice before. Over dinner in Bedminster in early August, she told Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump that she was unhappy. She’d thought that being in the White House would feel different than the campaign, but instead, surrounded by eccentrics, maniacs, divas, and guys from the Republican National Committee who seemed to think they were managing a Best Buy in Kenosha, it was somehow sicker there in the stillness of it all. She suggested removing herself from the belly of the psychodrama to work elsewhere in the administration. Sharing her frustrations, Jared and Ivanka engaged her idea with caution; they asked her to give General John Kelly, the new chief of staff, a chance to change the West Wing for the better.
But as time went on, it became clear that the sickness was a feature, that anyone who entered the building became a little sick themselves. And no matter how dead any of the eccentrics or maniacs or divas appeared to be, how far away from the president their status as fired or resigned or never-hired-in-the-first-place should have logically rendered them, nobody was ever truly gone. The people who were problems on the campaign or on the inside continued to be problems. The president’s taste for the other and the new was so established that the most driven among them knew that all they had to do was wait for an opening, or shrewdly create one — a weakened staffer, a particularly demoralizing news cycle — and they could worm their way back in. The madness engulfing the White House, in other words, was not just a matter of staff infighting or factional ideological rivalries, as it was often portrayed in the press, but also, in part, the result of manipulation from the fringes of Trumpworld…
Longish piece, but rich, in a not-particularly-good-for-you way. Principal villains discretely targeted: Corey Lewandowski, violent nutball; John Kelly, who’s gonna get his; and the ultra-conservative, married-to-CPAC-director woman Kelly ‘is said’ to prefer in Hicks’ role, Mercedes ‘(No) Mercy’ Schlapp, who only thinks she’s the most vicious word-ninja inside the Beltway.
For your further
delection consideration, this closer:
… “She is the one person he thinks is totally on his side. And I happen to think that he’s right,” the source who meets regularly with the president told me. “Trump’s main problem with other people is he sees them as competition, and he doesn’t see Hope that way, because she’s not.” The source went on, “This is why he’s fired all these people. This is why he hated Bannon, the problem with Scaramucci. They were seeking to eclipse him and he can’t handle that.”
Trump also had a different relationship with Hicks than he did with his children, who keep what the source called “ironic distance” from their father. “He knows that Ivanka has a separate agenda. Ivanka refers to him as ‘DJT’ just like the boys do, and Ivanka understands that her father is gonna be dead in ten years.”…