So now Donald Trump has gone and made it official. Over the weekend, when it emerged that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was targeting Hope Hicks for her alleged involvement in Trump’s attempted coverup of his son’s Russia meeting, I pointed out how suspicious it was that Trump had recently given her an “interim” promotion (link). As of today, Trump made it even more suspicious by dropping the interim tag and making the promotion official.
Back on August 1st, the White House Communications Director position became vacant when Anthony Scaramucci was forced out. This has been a revolving-door position that Trump has left vacant for months at a time. But on August 16th, right around the time it became clear that Donald Trump Jr would have to testify before Congress, and that Hicks would thus become a part of the investigation, Trump named Hicks the “interim” White House Communications Director.
The promotion made no sense. If she earned it based on merit, why not give it to her officially? And if it was merely a matter of filling the position on an interim basis, why bother at all, since Trump hadn’t previously cared about that kind of thing? It felt like perhaps Trump was taking a carrot and stick approach with Hicks by waving the promotion in front of her face, in an attempt at getting her to remain loyal to him during her questioning by Mueller.
Of course that was merely speculation on my part. But today Donald Trump went ahead and gave Hope Hicks the promotion on a permanent basis (link). There is no above-board logic for it to have all played out like this. She had already been working closely with Trump for a long time. He didn’t need to see her in this new position on an “interim” basis to know if she would be suited for it. Instead, he gave her the job on an interim basis once he figured out she would eventually have to testify, and he gave it to her on a permanent basis as soon as it became official that she would soon be testifying.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report