* Maggie Haberman reports that another top Trump aide is dashing for the exit:
Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President Trump’s longest-serving advisers, said Wednesday that she was resigning.
Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood his personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.
Ms. Hicks had been considering leaving for several months. She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a perfect moment to leave, according to White House aides.
Her resignation came a day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that in her job, she had occasionally been required to tell white lies but had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Hicks was one of the few people in the White House who worked for Trump before he was a politician. I’d bet there are some stories she could tell.
One of the strangest moments came when he argued that the alleged shooter in the tragedy in Parkland, Fla. — about whom there were numerous red flags — should have had his guns taken away regardless of what the law allowed.
“I think they should have taken them away, whether they had the right or not,” Trump said. He added later, in case there was any doubt: “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
In an exchange with Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), Trump seemed to not know what was contained in the bill Toomey proposed with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) after the 2012 tragedy at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Trump asked whether the bill, which was focused on background checks, would have raised the age limit for buying assault weapons.
When Toomey said it did not, Trump shot back: “You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA.”
The rejoinder was especially odd given Toomey was one of few Republicans who supported his backgrounds checks bill, which failed, over the objections of the NRA. It also happens to confirm the argument Democrats regularly make against Republicans. Trump would later go on to say some of the members in the meeting were “petrified” of the NRA.
Don’t worry, he’ll take it all back in 24 hours, I promise you.
* Matt Zapotosky and Karoun Demirjian report that the president is getting very angry that the attorney general isn’t protecting him.
* Karen Freifeld reports that the New York state banking regulator is taking a look at Jared Kushner’s relationship with Deutsche Bank and two other banks. I’m sure it’s all above board, nothing to see here.
* Nathan Gonzales becomes the second forecaster to rate the closely watched special election for a House seat in Pennsylvania a toss-up. This is a district Trump won by 20 points; Cook Political Report has also rated it a toss-up.
* And if you’re one of those 12 percent, you can buy an “American Dreamer” hat at the Trump campaign store for $50, a reference to Trump’s line in the State of the Union that “Americans are dreamers, too.”