White House communications director resigns amid tensions

Michele Moreno
May 31, 2017

Trump posted a tweet Tuesday saying "we have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change", he tweeted. But their operation has come under criticism in the wake of the firing of James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss, and amid a widening scandal over links to Russian Federation.

Dubke's hiring was meant to lighten the load on Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, who had also been handling the duties of communications director during Trump's first month in office.

Trump is also struggling with his legislative agenda, as health care and tax reform initiatives remain behind schedule with several fiscal deadlines looming. Mr. Dubke was commonly viewed as a close ally of Spicer, who on Tuesday gave his first briefing since Trump's return from his first foreign trip.

Trump's press team have been left humiliated in recent weeks following the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman also met with the president but removed his name from consideration.

Corey Lewandowski, who at one point was Trump's campaign manager previous year, and David Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager, are in discussions about whether to come onto the White House staff to handle the political and communications response to the inquiries, according to advisers to Trump.

In a statement, Dubke says: "It has been my great honor to serve President Trump and this administration".

As the discussion shifted to how Trump is communicating with the country, the press secretary insisted that the president is "very pleased with the work of his staff" and denounced "fake news". "He has a lot of respect for her", he said during a press briefing at the White House, adding that both leaders developed their "bond" during last week's G7 meeting.

Dubke previously was a Republican strategist who founded Crossroads Media and had long ties to party establishment figures, including strategist Karl Rove.

FILE - In this May 18, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

The White House has lost its communications director just 12 weeks after he was appointed to the job.

"He has expressed his desire to leave the White House and made very clear he would see through the president's global trip", White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Tuesday, referring to Trump's first overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe that ended on Saturday.

In an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, Conway said Dubke "made very clear that he would see through the president's global trip, and come to work every day and work hard even through that trip because there was much to do here back at the White House".

The resignation came as Trump and his team pushed back against reports that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, explored the possibility of setting up a secret communications channel to Moscow during the transition between the election and inauguration.

Moscow has denied USA intelligence agencies' conclusion that it meddled in the campaign to try to tilt the election in Trump's favour.

A senior aide to President Donald Trump is leaving the job, the White House said on Tuesday, as the president considers wider staff changes amid growing political fallout over probes into Russian Federation and his presidential campaign. But they have also opened him up to criticism and at times flummoxed.

Other reports by Insurance News

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