While it has been known for weeks that Trump confidante Hope Hicks was seeking to leave her position as White House communications director, her public announcement on Wednesday confirming that this was the case sent shockwaves throughout the media.
Indeed, the latest member of Team Trump to announce she was moving on from the administration immediately became a trending story worldwide across news media outlets.
The details of what prompted Hicks to choose today to disclose her resignation was not immediately forthcoming, as made clear by a New York Times report:
Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President Trump’s longest-serving advisers, said Wednesday that she plans to leave the White House in the coming weeks.
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.
The Times did point out that the move wasn’t entirely a revelation to political observers:
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.
It was also unknown what Hicks planned to do following her White House exit were not immediately known to the public.
However, a new report about the “final straw” that propelled the Hicks resignation made a splash on CNN, a news outlet that is known as much for its antipathy for Trump as its occasionally fizzled “bombshells.”
“Breaking news, White House in turmoil. Hope Hicks — the White House communications director and perhaps the president’s closest confidante — gone, abruptly resigning, just a day after admitting she’s told lies for the president,” CNN host Erin Burnett exploded.
“Just to give you an idea how vital Hicks is to the president. One of the president’s close allies telling me tonight, quote, ‘she was his last emotional crutch’ — that’s how crucial she is.”
“That source telling me Hicks departure was sudden,” she breathlessly continued. “The source saying Trump berated Hicks after her testimony to Congress yesterday, you know, the nine hours in which she admitted to telling lies on behalf of the president.”
“According to the source, Trump asked Hicks after the testimony, how she could she be so stupid,” Burnett went on. “And apparently that was the final straw for Hope Hicks.”
“What are you learning about Hope Hicks’ stunning departure?” she asked CNN White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
“There’s no question that we have stood here several times over the last thirteen months and talked about a resignation or departure, this one is different,” Zeleny explained. “Hope Hicks was not a political expert, but she was a Donald Trump expert.”
“She played a major role here,” Zeleny said. “So this is coming across as a major bombshell.”
“People across the West Wing were surprised, people were crying, they were upset,” Zeleny claimed. “In fact, when she held a meeting with the few small staffers who report to her, she was crying and upset.”
It’s almost certain that the White House will respond to the CNN report. Whether or not Hicks is supported is an open question, but CNN may have more explaining to do.
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