UPDATE with Reince Priebus statement: Just three months into the gig, White House Communications Director Mike Dubke has thrown in the towel. He cited personal reasons for stepping down from the job, in what is expected to be Step 1 in a major shake-up of President Donald Trump’s media message-massaging team.
“I want to thank Mike Dubke for his service to President trump and this administration. We appreciate Mike and are grateful for his service to President Trump and our country,” Chief of Staff Reince Priebus enthused of Dubke’s three months in office.
Dubke tendered his resignation just before Trump’s “historic international trip” and offered to remain on board until a transition is concluded, Priebus said, adding that Dubke would assist in finding his replacement, and will “be a strong advocate for the President and the President’s policies moving foward.”
Tuesday morning’s development, first reported by Axios, shows noted how tough it is to come up with a cohesive messaging strategy for a POTUS who has no coherent strategy, pundits noted. GOP operative Dubke had lasted just three months; before he was signed, the job had been held by Sean Spicer simultaneous to his being the White House press secretary. Former Trump campaign manager/CNN contributor Corey Lewandowski’s name is being bandied about Tuesday morning.
Spicer, meanwhile is scheduled to hold his first briefing in two weeks on Tuesday; word is he will survive as press secretary in this latest shoot-the-messenger shake-up, but will play a diminished role, holding fewer of these on-camera briefings. Trump is said to want to play a larger role conveying his message to the press. Maybe not coincidentally, Trump recently boasted Spicer’s briefings were the most watched program in daytime TV.
Spicer will no doubt get asked lots of questions about reports Trump’s son-in-law/adviser Jared Kushner attempted to establish backchannel communications with the Kremlin during the transition of administration. Spicer, a devout Catholic, may also take a question about Trump having shut him out of the meeting with the pope during Trump’s European tour last week.