(CNN)Almost all he had left was Hope.
President Donald Trump was left more beleaguered and isolated than ever after the resignation of his confidante Hope Hicks, one in the core of “originals” who had nurtured the iconoclastic tycoon all the way to the White House.
Hicks dropped her shocking announcement on a day that was bewildering even by the extreme standards of this White House, leaving Trump’s presidency looking increasingly unmoored.
The departure of Hicks — the young woman who became as much an emotional crutch as a communications director — leaves the inner circle of a President for whom loyalty is an obsession in tatters.
“As a CEO, or as a President or anyone at the top, it is lonely, and when you go in there you have the team, and you have your team,” Rob Astorino, a longtime friend of the President’s, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday. “Your team are the people that know you best and you really, really trust.”
“Hope was one of the people he really, really trusted,” Astorino said. “So with her leaving, there is only a handful left, and he’s going to feel like he is on an island.”
Hicks’ departure will come at a moment of maximum instability for the White House, with staff morale plummeting and the prowling presence of special counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia probe becoming ever more oppressive.