Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.
Dubke's last day on the job has not been determined. But it could be as early as Tuesday, when he was expected to meet with his staff at the White House, said a senior administration official, who required anonymity to discuss a personnel move that has not yet been formally announced.
Dubke's resignation was first reported by Mike Allen of Axios in his Tuesday morning newsletter.
In an email to friends and associates on Tuesday morning, Dubke wrote: “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.”
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said in a statement: “I want to thank Mike Dubke for his service to President Trump and this administration. We appreciate Mike and are very grateful for his service to President Trump and our country. Mike tendered his resignation just before the president's historic international trip and offered to remain on board until a transition is concluded. Mike will assist with the transition and be a strong advocate for the president and the president's policies moving forward.”
Dubke, 47, who has worked closely with White House press secretary Sean Spicer, served as a behind-the-scenes player helping manage communications strategy and responses to crises such as the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director, as well as rollout plans for policy and other initiatives.
The communications operation — and Dubke and Spicer specifically — have come under sharp criticism from Trump and many senior officials in the West Wing, who believe the president has been poorly served by his staff, in particular in the aftermath of the Comey firing.
Dubke was the rare Trump newcomer in a White House in which personal relationships and proximity to the president are the currency. He arrived in mid-February, a few weeks into Trump's term, and struggled to build alliances with some colleagues on the senior staff, not having worked on Trump's campaign or his transition team.
Jason Miller, the Trump campaign's senior communications adviser, was slated to serve as communications director in the White House, but he stepped aside a few weeks before Inauguration Day, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
During the first few weeks of the presidency, Spicer held the dual roles of press secretary and communications director, but it became too much for him. Dubke was then hired to fulfill the communications director responsibilities.
Dubke previously was a Republican strategist who founded Crossroads Media and had long ties to party establishment figures, including strategist Karl Rove.