ANALYSIS: Trump made controversial moves as nation focused on hurricane

As the nation focused on Hurricane Harvey, the White House made news.

— -- You could call it "The Art of the Dump."

Last night, with the ferocious Hurricane Harvey heading toward the Texas coast, the public may have been paying even less attention to politics than usual for the end of a work week.

Then it came -- a pair of controversial moves by the administration and the departure of a divisive figure in the White House, all over the span of three hours.

The pardon, Trump’s first as president, appears to distinguish him from other recent presidents who waited to issue their most controversial pardons or commutations until the end of their terms.

The news site quoted the letter from Gorka to Trump as saying, “Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.”

A White House official later confirmed that Gorka was no longer working there but said he had not resigned, spurring speculation that he may have been forced out.

White House officials have not yet responded to requests for comment on Schumer’s accusation, or whether there was any deliberate strategy behind the timing of the Friday press releases.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders also took the podium and rushed through questions, cutting off some reporters as they sought to ask follow-ups or press for fuller answers.

“Sorry, we're really tight on time,” Sanders said repeatedly.

There was no mention or suggestion in the press briefing of the news to come.