Posted by: maboulette | September 18, 2017

Trump Gave Hicks a Promotion When He Knew She Was About to Become a Key Obstruction Witness

Hope Hicks

Last week we learned that Trump White House adviser Hope Hicks is about to become a star witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction investigation, whether she wants to be or not. Among the six current and former Trump advisers Mueller is targeting, Hicks is the most senior adviser who still has a job. Speaking of seniority, Donald Trump recently gave Hicks a strange interim promotion, right around the time he figured out that she was going to be a key witness.


Once it became clear in mid-August that Donald Trump Jr was going to have to testify in the Russia scandal, it also became clear to all involved that he would have to come clean about the real intent of the meeting, thus implicating his father for obstruction of justice. Donald Trump had discussed with Hicks the plan to have Junior lie, which means he knew that as soon as Junior was on a path to imminently testifying, Hicks would soon have to testify as well.


Hope Hicks has long held the title of White House Director of Strategic Communications. But on August 16th, right around the time that it became clear Junior was headed for the witness chair, Trump promoted Hicks to White House Communications Director. She merely holds that title on an “interim” basis for now, but it’s nonetheless a promotion, even if it does end up being a temporary one. So perhaps she was good at her job and she earned a promotion. After all, someone had to take Anthony Scaramucci’s place as Communications Director after he was forced to resign, right? Actually, no.


Donald Trump has been through a few different short-lived White House Communications Directors since taking office. In between them, he’s allowed the job to sit empty for long stretches of a couple months at a time. It’s clear that Trump’s White House structure doesn’t rely on the position. So, after Scaramucci’s departure on August 1st, there was no practical need for Trump to promote Hope Hicks (or anyone else) to that job title on an interim basis two weeks later. In fact, his decision to leave it vacant for two weeks only serves to underline that he doesn’t rely on the position for anything. Besides, if Hicks had legitimately earned the promotion, he would have given it to her on a permanent basis. The interim promotion just doesn’t jive, and the timing is a red flag.


This leads to the question of whether Donald Trump gave Hope Hicks the White House Communications Director job on an “interim” basis as a way of trying to entice her to remain loyal to him during her upcoming testimony to the Special Counsel. The scenario would be this: if she protects him, she gets to keep the job. And if she gives him up, she gets demoted accordingly. It’ll be up to Robert Mueller to determine whether Trump really did promote Hicks for this reason, and whether this represented a further attempt at obstruction on his part.



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