Last week, Donald Trump’s former legal spokesman Mark Corallo accused Trump’s current senior adviser Hope Hicks of having promised to destroy evidence of Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with the Russian government during the election. If that sounds complicated, the upshot is that Hicks now has to decide whether to cut a plea deal against Trump to save herself, if she hasn’t already secretly done it. So Trump and his goons picked the worst time possible to mislead Hicks into making a fool of herself on a very sensitive matter.
This week the media exposed that White House aid Rob Porter had been accused of physical abuse by two ex-wives, and that one of them had a restraining order against him. It was then revealed that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly knew all about it, and tried to conceal it instead of getting rid of Porter. As it turns out, Porter is dating Hope Hicks. Now we’re learning that Trump’s people went to great lengths to trick Hicks into putting out a statement supporting Porter.
As the Porter scandal was about to become public, Trump’s White House frantically tried to gather statements of support for Porter. For instance the White House told Senator Orrin Hatch, Porter’s former boss, that Porter was being smeared and needed a generic statement of support. Hatch provided it, only to later learn what the accusations were about. According to the Daily Beast (link) Trump’s White House claimed, among other things, that the entire thing was a smear campaign on the part of Hicks’ ex-boyfriend and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
This appears to be what prompted Hope Hicks to put out a statement vigorously defending Porter, as reported by Vanity Fair (link). This means that Trump’s people misled Hicks into believing that the accusations against her current boyfriend were a fake story made up by her ex-boyfriend, prompting her to make a fool of herself. This is on top of the fact that John Kelly and others knew about Porter’s allegedly violent past, and apparently never warned Hicks that she was dating a guy whose ex-wife had a restraining order against him.
Put yourself in the shoes of Hope Hicks right now. She reportedly committed felony obstruction of justice to try to protect Donald Trump and his family, and now Trump and his goons have rewarded her by totally screwing her over. Now the whole world knows that Trump and his goons played her for a fool, as part of a scandal that was horrible to begin with. If she wasn’t sure whether to sell Trump out to Mueller in order to save herself, that decision may have just gotten a lot easier for her.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report