Mike Dubke, a veteran Republican media strategist, has been hired as the White House communications director, potentially providing some relief for its embattled press secretary, Sean Spicer, who’s been holding down both jobs.
With the appointment, which a White House official confirmed Friday, President Trump is reaching outside his circle of trusted campaign aides to try to bolster his messaging operation. Dubke is founder of Crossroads Media, an Alexandria-based firm with political and corporate clients.
Dubke's hiring could be announced as soon as Friday, according to a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel decision that hasn't been made public.
Before taking office, Trump named Jason Miller, a senior campaign and transition aide, to the role of communications director. But Miller stepped aside before Inauguration Day, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Since then, Spicer, the former communications director for the Republican National Committee, has been holding down both jobs, which traditionally have been separate positions. The press secretary is typically the face of the administration, appearing at press briefings, while the communications director engages in longer-term message planning.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Spicer were involved in hiring Dubke, who is expected to help bring more order to the communications operation.
As word of Dubke’s hiring trickled out, however, some Trump loyalists chafed at the idea of recruiting an establishment Republican operative with ties to strategist Karl Rove and other forces they see as having been hostile to Trump’s candidacy.
“How does this help serve the president’s interests?” asked one Trump insider, who demanded anonymity to speak candidly and claimed to be channeling the views of several others in Trump’s orbit. “It serves the interests of Reince and Sean, but I don’t see how it serves the president’s interests.”
Dubke has been involved in local, state and federal politics since 1988, according to his biography on the Crossroads Media website. He has also served as co-founder and president of Americans for Job Security, a pro-business advocacy organization.