Now that we’re beyond Memorial Day and the President has returned from his first big international trip, it looks like the White House will finally be making good on some of the rumors about staff shakeups and strategy changes. The first one out the door is Mike Dubke, the now-former White House Communications Director. There could be more to follow in the coming days or weeks as the hierarchy is reshuffled.
Report from Axios News:
Mike Dubke, President Trump’s communications director, is leaving the White House — the start of a wave of changes as the West Wing struggles to cope with burgeoning scandals and a stalled agenda.
-Dubke served for just three months before tendering his resignation May 18. He offered to stay through the overseas trip, and Trump accepted. He has been trying to help restructure the press and communications operation, and is parting on good terms, a senior administration official said.
-Insiders say Dubke came in with few patrons, and never gelled with the originals. His departure is a reminder of how hard it is for newcomers to thrive in Trumpland.
-Dubke is still coming in to work, and his last day hasn’t been set. His job is likely to remain open for a bit.
Trump will be looking to bring in some of his “own people,” so to speak, who originate outside the world of politics to begin handling his communications. I don’t know if that’s going to help with how the White House has been handling the media unless the President and his staff get on the same page when it comes to communicating their message.
There are some other changes coming as well:
-Sean Spicer will stay as press secretary, but will do fewer on-camera briefings (although he’s on-camera today at 2 p.m.)
-More briefings will be on-record but off-camera.
-Trump is likely to travel more — at least once a week, some top officials hope.
-Trump may take a few questions from the press when he’s on the road, and will take more questions when he’s appearing at photo ops with foreign leaders.
-An official explained why Trump will do more of the talking for the White House: “He says things exactly the way he wants them to be said.”
-Translation: When he says it, he can’t second-guess his staff.
Giving Trump more camera time with the press could be good … or bad. If he’s not pleased that Spicer and others are serving his messaging well, then maybe it’s better if he just delivers it himself and avoids the embarrassing rifts between what his staff says and what he says five minutes later. That sort of thing speaks to dysfunction in the White House and I’m sure that Trump doesn’t like the way that plays in TV, which he watches closely.