Just how dysfunctional are things inside Donald Trump’s White House? They’re so bad, they’re almost as dysfunctional as Donald Trump’s family. Yesterday Donald sat back and did nothing as Chief of Staff John Kelly stripped Jared Kushner of his provisional security clearance. Trump just threw his own son-in-law to the wolves. Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark. But today there’s even more evidence that Jared and Ivanka have one foot out the White House door.
Kushner is now in a state of limbo where he can’t do the only thing he’s ever wanted to do in the White House, which is to study highly classified U.S. intelligence secrets all day, and then do lord-knows-what with them. There’s no longer any reason for him to stay. Donald Trump could easily have granted him permanent security clearance; he has the power to override any recommendations made by the FBI and DOJ, or any moves that Kelly wanted to make. So it’s clear that Donald is trying to show Kushner the door. It’s a fairly safe bet that Ivanka Trump will leave with Jared if he goes. So what changed today?
In short, Hope Hicks resigned from the White House today. As Palmer Report spelled out earlier, it’s fairly obvious that she’s cutting a plea deal with Robert Mueller in order to dodge the serious obstruction of justice charges that could put her away for several years. It’s also been obvious since yesterday that Donald Trump was afraid she was cutting a deal with Mueller. But even so, her decision to immediately bail today, instead of waiting for the Friday news dump or waiting a few weeks so it didn’t look so obvious, can be taken as a sign that she thinks things are about to hit the fan any hour now.
Hope Hicks is reportedly close with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Hicks just bailed. Josh Raffel, who is also close with Ivanka and Jared, just resigned from the White House yesterday. This constitutes a clear pattern. When your allies who depend on their relationship with you are all suddenly running from the building screaming, it’s a sign that they know you’re about to be the next to go. So whether Jared and Ivanka resign, or Trump lets Kelly fire them, it’s time to start watching for their exit timetable. This was always going to happen once the Trump-Russia scandal got ugly enough, and now we’re here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report