The Trump White House this week has been rife with internal drama, culminating in the surprising resignation of now former Communications Director Hope Hicks. However, this recent development is not the top story of the week.
The Big Drama
The top spot this week goes to President Trump’s son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner, who has had his top-secret clearance downgraded to secret clearance after weeks of concern that Kushner’s lack of experience could lead to issues. The order came from Chief of Staff General John Kelly, who has expressed his dissatisfaction with the role of Trump’s children in the White House.
In addition to downgrading Kushner’s security clearance, Kelly has had contentious interactions with Ivanka Trump as well, likely due to her role in the White House and the scandal surrounding a deal in Vancouver. Suspicions surrounding the deal began when it was leaked this week that FBI counterintelligence is investigating Ms. Trump’s deal on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, paying close attention to the finances.
With all of the drama surrounding Jared and Ivanka, it makes sense that President Trump asked Kelly to quietly remove them from their positions in the White House, according to a New York Times report. If true, the President may have made some more enemies within his own family.
More Drama Bombs
President Trump has also been ruffling feathers with his reaction to the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – seemingly siding with both the NRA and gun-control advocates. However, on Wednesday the President seemed to take the side of gun control, calling for comprehensive gun control legislation – applying background checks to weapons purchased at gun shows, on the internet and more. One particularly striking moment was when he stated, on live television, that he would be fine with law enforcement seizing guns from the mentally ill without due process, stating: “Take the guns first, go through due process second.” After these remarks, the NRA and the Trump White House are scrambling.
This sudden switch towards gun control is an example of how the President seems to operate without any rhyme or reason, making it difficult for his staffers to craft a central message.
Most in the Trump White House fail to know what he is going to say next. In fact, the only staffer that actually seemed to have a pulse on Trump’s thought process left her position this week: former Communications Director Hope Hicks. Hicks was the fifth communications director of the Trump White House and the only person in the communications office that seemed to understand the President’s motives. She reportedly left after being put in a precarious position by Trump, who discussed the Russia probe with her prior to her testifying before Robert Mueller’s committee. In said committee, Hicks admitted to telling a few white lies for Trump – prompting his fury and her resignation.
Now, we are left with a situation that should seem familiar – President Trump speaking for himself.
Other Major Players:
- Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President: Fell asleep in a meeting discussing student safety, leading to outcries from activists and concerned parties that the White House is only going through the motions.
- Vice President Mike Pence predicts legal abortion will end in the U.S. “In our time.”
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to make headway in Russia investigation, as he investigates whether Trump knew about the Russian hacking of Democratic emails, and looks at Jared Kushner’s business associates.
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