Quick Takes: Hope Hicks and Her ‘White Lies’ Are Out

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Another one bites the dust.

Here’s what led to the unexpected exit:

The announcement comes one day after Hicks testified before the House Intelligence Committee for its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

She reportedly told the committee she sometimes tells “white lies” in her official capacity.

* Trump held a truly bizarre meeting on school shootings with a bipartisan group of legislators this afternoon. He accused Pat Toomey of being afraid of the NRA and said that we should abandon due process in order to confiscate guns from someone who is mentally ill (who would deem them mentally ill was not addressed). Here’s a taste of how the meeting concluded.

If that feels familiar to you, there is good reason for that reaction.

* Other than actual indictments and plea agreements, it has become clear that leaks about the Mueller investigation are not coming from the special counsel’s office, but are instead coming from the White House and/or those who are being investigated. That is the case with the latest from NBC News, which goes right to the heart of the question of collusion.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.

Mueller’s investigators have asked witnesses whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish the emails. They have also asked about the relationship between GOP operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and why Trump took policy positions favorable to Russia.

The line of questioning suggests the special counsel, who is tasked with examining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, is looking into possible coordination between WikiLeaks and Trump associates in disseminating the emails, which U.S. intelligence officials say were stolen by Russia.

* Fake news comes from people who lie, even if they claim it wasn’t on purpose.

The father of a Florida shooting survivor acknowledged Tuesday he omitted words in an email he sent media outlets accusing CNN of using scripted remarks at a town hall on guns and school safety.

Dozens of conservative websites called the network’s Feb. 21 town hall forum scripted after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior Colton Haab skipped the event and said the network had told him what question to ask. The websites call it proof the forum was slanted against gun rights. President Donald Trump tweeted about it on Friday, saying “Just like so much of CNN, Fake News!”…

Glenn Haab [father of the Florida shooting survivor] told The Associated Press he omitted some words from the email but said he didn’t do it on purpose.

* The DNC is going all-in to do their part to ensure a blue wave in November.

Looking to harness anti-Trump enthusiasm in what could be a banner year for Democrats, the Democratic National Committee will announce Wednesday that it’s planning to contact 50 million voters before the November elections.

The DNC, which has struggled financially and faced doubts about its relevance, will focus its 2018 organizing plans for the midterms around partnerships with a wide range of groups aimed at boosting turnout among Democratic-leaning voters, who have been less likely to get to the polls in recent nonpresidential elections…

DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement that the effort “translates activism and marches into committing to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot this November and is designed to reach voters and communities across the country with new innovative tools and technologies, key partnerships, and online and on-the-ground organizing strategies.”…

The DNC dubs its effort the “IWillVote” program and says it sets the party’s most ambitious goal ever for a midterm election.

* Finally, in case you’re wondering what #44 is up to these days, he’s still committed to tapping into that generational sea change that is coming.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.