Friday, March 02, 2018

Hope Hicks resigns from the world most toxic workplace

The sudden resignation of Hope Hicks, Donald Trump's White House latest communications director, throws one thing into sharp relief (well, several things, really, but one thing in particular): the pervasive toxic atmosphere within Trumpland.
Ms. Hicks - 29 years old and a former model, always a political lightweight and little more than a pretty ornament in the view of many, and I don't even want to think about the "surrogate daughter" label that has been bandied around - resigned, according to her account, because she had achieved all she felt she could in that exalted position ("there would never be a perfect moment to leave"), and was just looking to move on career-wise. Coming, as it did, just days after her grilling by the House of Representatives intelligence committee investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, in which she admitted to telling "white lies" on a regular basis in order to protect her wayward boss's brand, this explanation comes across as disingenuous at best. It's also surely no coincidence that it comes hard on the heels of the scandal of her relationship with fellow White House staffer Rob Porter, who was forced to resign recently over spousal abuse charges. Ms. Hicks has also had some rather public differences of late with First Daughter, Ivanka Trump, and with White House chief of staff, John Kelly.
Whether she jumped or whether she was pushed is frankly neither here nor there, but what stands out is that she was regarded as one of Mr. Trump's longest-serving aides, she was his FIFTH communications director in his just-over-a-year in office, and she joins an ever-expanding exodus of prominent White House officials. In fact, Trump's staff turnover in his first year is the highest for any presidency in decades, twice the rate of the next worst offender, Ronald Reagan, and nearly four times that of President Obama.
What can we learn from this? Absolutely nothing, other than that the guy is really difficult to get on with. Which we already knew. Ms. Hicks's replacement is touted to be - no not Twitter - Mercdes Schlapp. God help her.

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