31 May 2017

White House communications director quits

7:04 am on 31 May 2017

White House communications director Mike Dubke has resigned only three months after being hired by President Donald Trump.

Mike Dubke

Mike Dubke said the reasons for his departure were personal. Photo: Facebook

Mike Dubke, an experienced Republican strategist, was hired in March to revamp the White House media strategy.

As part of the shake-up, White House press secretary Sean Spicer will reportedly hold on to his position, but there will be fewer media briefings.

The reshuffle follows reports of disarray in the White House communications team.

Mr Dubke tendered his resignation on 18 May and is leaving on good terms, according to Axios News, a politics website which first reported his exit.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Mr Dubke had agreed to stay on until Mr Trump returned from his trip to the Middle East and Europe on Saturday.

"Mike tendered his resignation just before the President's historic international trip and offered to remain onboard until a transition is concluded," said Mr Priebus.

"Mike will assist with the transition and be a strong advocate for the President and the President's policies moving forward."

According to news website Politico, Mr Dubke, 47, provided few details on his departure in an email to friends.

"The reasons for my departure are personal," he wrote, "but it has been my great honor to serve President Trump and this administration.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer

White House press secretary Sean Spicer will reportedly hold on to his job but give fewer on-camera breifings. Photo: AFP

"It has also been my distinct pleasure to work side-by-side, day-by-day with the staff of the communications and press departments."

The change comes amid rumours of further reorganisation.

President Trump is reported to have been frustrated with White House messaging amid congressional and FBI investigations into whether his campaign officials colluded with an alleged Kremlin plot to help him win the presidency.

He recently raised the idea of scrapping the daily news briefing altogether and holding one himself every fortnight.

According to Axios, Mr Trump plans to follow through on that plan by taking more questions directly from the media.

- BBC

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