Illustration for article titled Looks Like Hope Hicks Has Replaced Ivanka as the Trump Whisperer
Photo: MANDEL NGAN (Getty Images)

A 31-year-old white woman with no credentials other than being a 31-year-old white woman—which is the equivalent of being a 24-year-old black woman with a Ph.D. who discovered real-life vibranium—is now the person who Trump’s turning to during the coronavirus to help with his rebrand because nothing says “I’m fucking this up” like a rebrand during a global pandemic.

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So far, for those that aren’t keeping score, Trump’s current time in office includes a remake of Contagion in real-time, the stock market doing its impression of a submarine bomber, and the country being led by a president who is more concerned with keeping his job while unemployment numbers continue to rise.

And, somehow, during all of this, Hope Hicks is the person the president is reportedly leaning on to help him get America through this. According to Politico, Hicks or “Hopey” as the president calls her, is one of the “few aides Trump implicitly trusts.”

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If you remember the name, it’s because she used to be White House communications director then she left and came back as an adviser or some shit. Oh, and it turns out that these disastrous presidential press briefings that always ended up being rallies for the president’s reelection campaign were totally Hopey’s idea.

Hicks reportedly “urged the president to act as a frontman for the coronavirus crisis — a leader who could offer calming messages, critical health information and important updates on the progress of the White House’s response efforts, instead of delegating those responsibilities to health officials or the vice president.”

It would have been a great idea if the president’s briefings were remote; instead, the press conferences have turned into a fucking trashy hot mess. In fact, who knows if the president is going to have another one considering he didn’t host any over the weekend and on Friday, a day after he suggested that everyone mix disinfectants in their Capri-Suns, he held a briefing but didn’t take any reporters’ questions.

So now Hopey is in charge of being the presidential whisperer, a role once held by daughter and maker of cruisewear, Ivanka Trump. Ivanka was, at one point, the moral compass for Trump, but she’s married and has a family of her own so she’s been unable to baby the big ass baby in the White House.

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“The daily briefings are no longer seen inside the White House as the most effective format for Trump, so she and others must develop other venues and weigh when he can again start to travel to events that so energize him. Internally, aides believe his outsize platform can break through the clutter of news — even if the briefings do not end up being his preferred medium in the coming weeks,” Politico reports.

“Look, the briefings were clearly created and designed to try to fix the president’s political health and had very little to do with public health,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary under President Barack Obama who now serves as senior counsel for Bully Pulpit Interactive Media, told Politico. “Even before Thursday’s disinfectant fiasco, the level of misinformation and contradictory messaging at a moment when the country needs clarity has been jarring and dangerous.”

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And what’s the White House press shop doing? Trying to spin this into a “He didn’t have to do shit for y’all” moment.

The “president felt it was important in these challenging, difficult times to be honest and speak directly to the American people about the challenges we face,” said Hogan Gidley, the White House principal deputy press secretary.

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“A lot of other people would not have done that, but it is a testament to his leadership that he was the one who wanted to deliver that news, so he could be honest with the American people but also offer a message of hope.”

Ummm, the president doesn’t get a pat on the back for addressing the nation during the worst possible time in recent history; it’s his fucking job! I wish these White House aides would stop acting like doing something remotely presidential is a blessing for all of us. We are facing a global crisis and the president hosted some press briefings...And? He. Couldn’t. Even. Do. That. Right.

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If the only hope we have left is Hopey, then well, I hate to say it, but we might all be fucked.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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