Donald Trump’s Communications Director Hope Hicks refused to answer key questions about the Trump-Russia scandal today while she was testifying before the House Intel Committee. A whole lot of people, including a number of political pundits, are misinterpreting this as a sign that Hicks is trying to protect Trump. In reality, this means Hicks has cut a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We know this because we just finished watching the exact same scenario play out with another key Trump-Russia figure.
Weeks ago, after his relationship with Trump soured, Steve Bannon was suddenly hauled before that same House Intel Committee. Why? Bannon had just become a prime candidate to flip on Trump. Trump’s allies on the committee hauled Bannon in to try to learn what he was planning to tell Mueller. Bannon refused to answer the most important questions, making it obvious that Bannon is on Team Mueller. The initial headlines said “Bannon stonewalls investigators,” but sure enough, days later, it was reported that Bannon had indeed given up everything in an interview with Mueller.
Now history is repeating, but this time with a few new dramatic flairs. The relationship between Trump and Hope Hicks significantly soured during the Rob Porter scandal. At that same time, a former member of Trump’s legal team testified to Mueller that he had heard Hicks promising to suppress Trump-Russia evidence. Suddenly Hicks needed to cut a deal with Mueller against Trump to save herself, and she was on the outs with Trump anyway. Sure enough, the House Intel Committee suddenly hauled her in today, in the hope of getting ahead of it all, but Hicks refused to play ball with them, just like Bannon did.
So now it’s just a matter of waiting for history to finish repeating. We should be hearing soon that Hope Hicks has indeed worked out some kind of deal with Robert Mueller. By the way, this development helps explain why Donald Trump had a frantic meltdown this morning about the Trump-Russia scandal. Even he understands what’s happening here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report