Hope Hicks. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Columnist

Hope Hicks is gone. H.R. McMaster may be on the way out. Who remains, it is difficult to say. The ranks are getting sparser and sparser every week and have to be combed more and more carefully into place. Here, as best as I can determine, are the people still at the White House: 

  • Chief of Staff John Kelly, who committed a sin and is being punished, doomed to walk the Earth until every scrap of goodwill he accrued by seeming even vaguely level-headed is eroded away by his continued presence in the Trump administration and remarks in favor of Civil War-averting compromises or in defense of men accused of abuse.
  • A Russian intelligence official who came in months ago to drop off some misleading papers, but was given something important to hold and now considers everyone family and cannot bear to leave.
  • “Fox and Friends.”
  • Six tumbleweeds.
  • A pigeon that flew into the Oval Office during an important meeting, but everyone else present at the meeting had been removed because their clearances were downgraded, so they had to keep the pigeon to preserve institutional memory.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, amazingly.
  • A guy who came in on a tour and President Trump thought he had “that White House look” and then he was not allowed to leave, but it’s not really clear what he does.
  • Rick Perry’s glasses.
  • A man in a white lab coat with a plastic stethoscope around his neck who says things that do not sound like correct medical advice but whom everyone is afraid to ask to leave in case it turns out that he is Trump’s personal physician.
  • An unreleased tax return, currently handling FOIA requests.
  • A pair of Ivanka-branded stilettos that have been placed in charge of an initiative.
  • Michael Wolff, who confusingly is still sitting there.
  • A Steve Bannon-shaped lump in the carpet.
  • A land-line telephone with Anthony Scaramucci’s voice on the other end, ready to volunteer his services.
  • A coat rack that John Kelly mistook for a person and gave an important portfolio to.
  • Jared Kushner.
  • Jared Kushner, in a different hat.
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
  • Some refrigerator cheese from the Obama era that nobody removed and it became sentient and now it’s in charge of personnel but it wants to quit on principle, it just fears that it is the only thing holding everything together, and every night it goes back to its corner of the refrigerator and the suppurating carrot next to it in a plastic bag urges it to do what is in its heart, but it says, I can’t, don’t ask me that, we’ve talked about this, and they sit there silently in the darkness and cold in a silence that speaks volumes until someone opens the refrigerator in the morning.
  • Mad Dog.
  • General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
  • A mustache with no one behind it.
  • A mop.
  • A whole tour of schoolchildren who want to get back to fifth grade in Nebraska but are currently the chief experts on a large area of foreign policy and cannot be spared.
  • Donald Trump.
  • Jeff Sessions, having much, much too good a time to ever leave.