Is hope gone for President Donald Trump?
Is the exit of Hope Hicks, the longest survivor of Trump’s political inner circle, a signal of more to come?
Is daughter Ivanka Trump going to leave?
Is Ivanka’s hubby, Jared Kushner, who was just denied top-secret clearance, going to exit?
The stunning resignation Wednesday of Hicks, the White House communications director and Trump’s gatekeeper and security blanket, caused U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to chuckle.
“I kept thinking while listening to her testimony that if Hope Hicks was really allowed to open up, I believe she could provide some additional chapters to the hit best-selling book ‘Fire and Fury’ . . . interesting at best and at least two chapters worth,” said Quigley, who was present during some of Hicks’ testimony before the House committee on Tuesday.
It was during the House interrogation Hicks admitted to telling “little white lies” at the behest of Trump.
“She [Hicks] had very strong opinions on different people involved in the Trump campaign,” Quigley said in a phone interview with Sneed before boarding a plane to Chicago on Wednesday — and shortly before word leaked Hicks had resigned. “But I can’t tell you who they are.
“But I can tell you my overall impression of those Trump people interviewed by the House Select Committee thus far: They all seemed to be inhabitants of an Island of Misfit Toys. Where did these people find each other?” said Quigley.
Quigley claims he attended about four hours of the eight-hour committee.
A source close to the investigation tells Sneed one person in particular drew Hicks’ ire: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who replaced Corey Lewandowski, who had been this/close to Hicks.
“She wasn’t fond of that person,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.
“There didn’t seem to be much vetting done during the Trump campaign,” added the source.
It’s no secret Lewandowski, who testified earlier before the House Select Intelligence Committee, detested Manafort.
In an earlier interview, Lewandowski told Sneed he looked at Trump as a father figure he idolized who “always called Hope and I the ‘kids.’ ”
“Hope and I would be working together on the [Trump campaign] plane and he’d shout, ‘Good morning, kids!’
“Hope is fantastic. Terrific. There is nothing more important to him than loyalty. That says it all,” said Lewandowski.
“He was angry, defensive, combative during questioning by the committee,” said Quigley. “Angry at the world. Still seeming to be seeking Trump’s love.”
Now the one permanent non-family fixture in the Oval Office, who’s been described as talented and incisive, is leaving.
“So very sad to see her go – professional, poised, talented & the best sense of humor,” tweeted Stephanie Grisham, first lady Melania Trump’s communications director.
But who knows.
The abrupt sacking recently of Hicks’ beau, Rob Porter, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s top gun — who was fired for a history of sexual assault claims by his two ex-wives — may result in a new ending.
The duo may be able to be seen in public together again.
The gun debate . . .
State Rep. Dan Burke, who is sponsoring the Commander Paul Bauer Act, tells Sneed over 1 million people in Illinois — out of a statewide population of 12.7 million — already own extended magazine gun equipment.
It is the stuff made of murder.
The extended gun magazine was attached to the 9mm Glock used to kill 18th District Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer the day before Valentine’s Day.
“These extended magazines were bought legally,” said Burke. “So comes the dilemma of what to do with this issue. Do we have to grandfather in an amendment to make these already sold magazines legal in order to pass the legislation?
“Or does the state have to buy back the guns, which it can’t afford?”
Here’s one answer.
Anti-gun peace priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger suggests: “Why not get the rich corporate muckety-mucks like Ken Griffin [the state’s richest man] and Gov. Bruce Rauner to use their billions to buy back the sold gun magazines?”
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Rapper Ja Rule dining at RPM Italian on Saturday evening before performing at Studio Paris Nightclub. . . . Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ girlfriend Cassie Ventura also at Paris Club. . . . Today’s birthdays: Justin Bieber, 24; Lupita Nyong’o, 35; and Javier Bardem, 49.