White House communications director resigns amid tensions

Posted May 31, 2017

The White House communications director Mike Dubke has resigned without explanation only three months after being hired by Donald Trump.

After a testy 20-minute question-and-answer session, Spicer told the jam-packed White House briefing room that President Donald Trump was frustrated with the number of "fake news" stories being reported, while news about his accomplishments during his just-completed foreign tour was downplayed. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Kushner discussed the possibility of setting up a direct and secret line of communication with Moscow. "It's very important to recognise that the president has expressed full confidence in Jared Kushner and also went on to note the considerable progress and very large important portfolio that Jared oversees here at the White House", she said. "It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday.

Mr. Dubke is a veteran Republican operative whose appointment as communications director for the Trump administration raised the eyebrows of many political experts. Spicey should be pretty good at his job by now, which simply requires him to provide an unrelenting defense of Trump's tweets, whether he agrees with them or not.

Asked about a possible change in personnel Mr Spicer said that the president was "very pleased with his team", but noted that "ultimately the best messenger is the president himself". "Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and ex-top campaign official David Bossie have been mentioned repeatedly in those conversations".

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Given Dubke's anonymity, it's not terribly surprising that the reaction to his departure as White House communications director - which was announced Tuesday morning - was a universal "meh".

Trump named Dubke to the post in February after several other people - including Jason Miller, who handled communications for the Trump presidential campaign - turned it down.

Trump has struck out at leaks from the White House on a number of occasions, referring to them as "fake news"-particularly those concerning information about the investigation into Russia's interference in the USA election".

Trump tweeted Tuesday: "Russian officials must be laughing at the USA & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News". Dubke founded Crossroads Media, a GOP firm that specializes in political advertising.

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Dubke, who was brought into the White House in March to head the office that runs press and other public relations issues, oversees the White House's message strategy while spokesman Sean Spicer, a more high-profile figure, handles daily media briefings. Just back from his nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, Trump dismissed recent reports as "fake news".

Trump tweeted Tuesday that "we have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military".

But as Trump and his aides tell it, this was the most successful, most historic, most well-received foreign trip ever embarked on by a USA president.

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