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Trump's public relations chief quits

May 30, 2017

Amid worsening scandals facing the Trump administration, White House communications director Mike Dubke is to step down. US media said he tendered his resignation before the president's recent foreign trip.

USA Donald Trump PK im Weißen Haus
Image: Reuters/K. Lamarque

Mike Dubke quit his post as communications director at the White House just three months after being hired by US President Donald Trump. He tendered his resignation on May 18 but agreed to stay on until after Trump returned home from his foreign foreign trip to the Middle East and Europe, US media said.

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"It has been my great honor to serve President Trump and this administration. It has also been my distinct pleasure to work side-by-side, day-by-day with the staff of the communications and press departments," he wrote in an email to friends and associates, cited by the Washington Post.

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White House adviser Kellyanne Conway explained the resignation in an interview on Fox News later in the morning.

"He has expressed his desire to leave the White House and made very clear that he would see through the president's international trip," she said.

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Analysts have suggested that, as an outsider, Dubke may not have gelled with other longer-serving Trump officials.

US media reported that Trump is increasingly frustrated at the White House's response to media reaction to his administration's first 100 days in office.

Scandals undermining communications

Trump adminstration's political agenda is being increasingly stalled by an ever growing scandal about secret meetings between senior Trump officials and Russian diplomats before the US billionaire took office in January.

Washington insiders say Trump is now planning a larger strategic shake-up of his administration to tackle the Russia scandal allegations, including the launch of a "war room" to answer difficult questions about multiple investigations.

The Reuters news agency cited Trump administration officials as saying the president plans to bring in his former campaign manager.

Axios said Tuesday that other changes would see White House Press Secretary Sean Spice make fewer on-camera briefings, after being mocked on several US comedy shows since Trump took office. The news site speculated that Trump would likely take more questions directly from the media.

Trump's administration has faced severe censure after major news outlets were given limited access to White House briefings.

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mm/rt (Reuters, Axios)