Thursday, March 01, 2018


Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, who broke the story of Hope Hicks's impending resignation, is taking a lot of flak for this tweet:

Some responses:

But April Ryan -- a reporter who can't be accused of being cozy with the president -- offered a defense of Haberman yesterday:

Olivia Nuzzi summarizes what led up to that:
A silly tabloid story about Hicks dating another member of the White House staff, Rob Porter, quickly transformed into a serious tabloid story about allegations of physical abuse against Porter from both of his ex-wives. As the White House struggled to get its story straight (an ongoing struggle), Hicks was quickly identified as the reason for initial statements that leapt to Porter’s defense....

Various reports claimed Trump believed her judgment was compromised by her relationship, that she’d put the interests of her boyfriend over his own.
Is Nuzzi (whose piece is titled "The White House Didn’t Break Hope Hicks Overnight") also falling for spin? I think this rings true. Putting the interests of anyone else above those of Trump is, to Trump, the worst possible offense. So it seems quite possible that Hicks made up her mind to leave after that dressing-down from her boss, took steps to do so, and informed others in the White House. She may have decided to leave then and planned to do so at a moment when there was no apparent proximate cause for her departure, but then (as others have reported) she was chewed out by Trump after it emerged that she'd informed the House Intelligence Committee that she tells white lies on Trump's behalf, and so she decided she didn't care what people believed about the cause and effect -- she just wanted out.

The word "months" in Haberman's tweet is distracting. Haberman says that Hicks "had been thinking about [leaving] for months," but also says that "She had planned it before" yesterday. Those passages are in the same sentence, but Haberman doesn't say that the "before" when Hicks began planning to quit was "months ago." The Porter scandal was less than a month ago, but that's still "before."

Maybe you don't buy any of this. But Trump's narcissism makes me believe April Ryan, and thus, to some extent, Haberman.

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