WASHINGTON – With a handshake and a presidential kiss on the cheek, Hoping to Hicks to say goodbye to the White House, the press-shy director of communications of the taking of a rare moment in the spotlight on her last day in the Donald Trump of the administration.
The Thursday of the exit of the president’s most trusted aide come a day after yet another Cabinet departure, highlights ongoing uncertainty in the Trump assistants and the White House staff about who might be the next to go.
Hicks left the administration on its own terms, and received a gracious farewell by Trump out of the Oval Office in the light of the reporters. That is in stark contrast with the White House treatment of David Shulkin, the Veterans Affairs secretary who was fired in the midst of ethical questions and be replaced by a White House physician who has no experience in running a bureaucracy or working with veterans.
As Trump allies defended the choice of the Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, scrutiny quickly shifted to a number of other Cabinet members faced with ethical questions and with strained relations with the president, as well as a White House chief of staff who found his influence diminished. Trump assistants and outside consultants suggested that other changes were not imminent, but no one can say how long that would last.
“I have to get back to you on that,” said deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters when asked on Air Force One as Trump, now had his ideal Cabinet.
White House officials are concerned about Hicks’ departure, given her unrivalled position on the president of the court. Despite her title as director of communications, Hicks was more accurately described by the White House officials as an Asset to the right woman and the media gatekeeper, the provision of required doses of affirmation to the president and may deliver bad news for him, with little impact.
The internal jockeying in her place — if Trump chooses to do — has featured betrayal and planted news stories that, in turn, bash the leading candidates: Mercedes Schlapp, the White House strategic communications director, and Tony Sayegh, assistant secretary general for public affairs at the Ministry of finance.
Many near the White House, however, expect senior adviser Kellyanne Conway or press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to take the role, at least temporarily. Sanders is grown close to the president since the acquisition of the pressure on the secretary of the job after the dismissal of Sean Spicer last summer and is spending more time in the Oval Office the last time.
The task of the director of communications — involving the development and implementation of the long-term management of messaging strategy, there has never been a particularly important issue for the president. Aides joke that he is his own communications director, who put carefully plans with a tweet or a digression.
Trump, not disciplined, has taken to freelancing more late, as he moves to surround themselves with employees are less likely to try to loop him in. A speech outside Cleveland on Thursday, meant to be about the infrastructure in the place felt like a campaign rally. And he has broken free of the limitations imposed on him by the head of staff John Kelly.
Trump hired John Bolton as national security adviser last week about Kelly’s objections, and does not include his chief of staff in the Oval Office meeting in which the track is extended. And Kelly, who often listens to the president of the talks was not on the call, Trump made of the White House residence earlier this month, during which, over staff objections, he congratulated the Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election.
Although Kelly’s work is not in danger, Trump has figured out to outside allies of the late on the set of the West Wing structure with no chief of staff, who are reminiscent of Trump Tower operation.
Aides said controversies surrounding the Trump cards of the employees need to hit a certain decibel level to the president’s attention.
In the case of Shulkin, who was found to have inappropriately accepted gifts and travel, his retirement came, he was under fire from all angles, including GOP-leaning veterans groups and good-government watchdogs. And Trump himself is vented to the counsellor that the questions around Shulkin undermined his campaign promise to help veterans, according to three White House officials and outside advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
Officials said ethical questions around other Cabinet members are not attracting the attention of the president in the same way, but that could change quickly.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson came under fire after reports that his office was spending $31,000 for a new dining table. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faced with questions about the $25,000 spent on a soundproof “privacy” and “position” in his office to prevent eavesdropping of his phone calls and another $9,000 on biometric locks.
White House ethics officials, directed by Kelly, warned Carson, Pruitt, and others who are more negative attention could change the dynamic and send them to the packaging. But another member of the Cabinet, Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, can be accidentally stepped in to Trumpet the line of fire in this week.
Trump is enraged at Sessions for the months before recusing himself from the Russia-research, belittle him publicly and privately, but not yet moving to dismiss him. But Sessions on Thursday, appeared on the cover of Time magazine, Trump’s favorite publication.
Trump is known to brag about his gigs on Time covers — fake ones are installed on his golf and was very angry last year when the former chief strategist Steve Over appeared on. A Trump ally said the president has previously said, only half-jokingly, that he would appear on the cover each week.
Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
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