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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The source doesn't get to write the story, Maggie. That's *not* how this works.

Hope, having just admitted to *habitual white lies*, can say whatever she wants now about why she's leaving Trump's side, and no one is obligated to believe her given the exigencies of her situation.
2/ Those exigencies were clear to Hope months ago—so the idea she made the decision after being grilled for 9 hours by Congress on whether her boss should be impeached/imprisoned says nothing about her original reasoning *or* her present thinking on the timing of her resignation.
3/ I'd tell the aspiring reporters I teach to say, "Hicks says she began thinking about resigning months ago, a claim sources confirm." That's entirely separate from whether yesterday affected the timing or whether the whole Mueller probe led her to "begin thinking" of resigning.
4/ I don't understand why—and I say this sincerely to @maggieNYT—the reaction to reader response to the story is to quickly begin reporting facts not present in the original piece, like the new (at a minimum implied) claim Hicks leaving has *nothing* to do with the Mueller probe.
5/ If I read Maggie right, her sources say *only* Hope didn't suddenly choose to resign due to yesterday's grilling. They *don't* say whether it could've been a *factor* or if the Mueller probe was part of her broader reasoning on resignation. I think Maggie is implying too much.
6/ My strong reaction to Maggie's follow-up tweet wasn't intended to imply Maggie doesn't know what she's doing—she's an expert. But she has a demonstrated pattern of reporting then editorializing her stories in a way that makes me uncomfortable as someone who teaches journalism.
7/ Hope Hicks spoke to Mueller in early December—which is "months ago"—so when Maggie cites sources insisting Hope began thinking of leaving "months ago" that in *no* way alters the *distinct* possibility it was her questioning broadly writ (by Mueller and Congress) in play here.
8/ Moreover, both a House Intel source and apparently others are saying that there are signs the *timing* of this caught everyone unawares—another fact untouched by Maggie's I'm sure strong reporting. And if so, the *timing* could still well have to do with yesterday's grilling.
9/ NYT: "...thinking about it for MONTHS..."
CNN: "A source familiar with her thinking said she first seriously considered resigning in the wake of the scandal [TWO WEEKS AGO] involving former senior aide Rob Porter—whose public defense Hicks helped craft while also dating him."
10/ "Months" could put Hicks' decision pre-Mueller grilling (early December); "weeks" would definitely put it after the grilling, meaning Mueller interrogating her for two days in December 2016 *absolutely* could have played into her thinking, contra what I think the NYT implies.
PS/ Meanwhile, apparently MSNBC is implying that this *is* a classic "friends and family say get out now or go down with the ship" scenario.

So I really think Maggie and the NYT need to be careful about wanting to report a story *and* supply it with a pro-Trump editorial gloss.
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