White House communications director Mike Dubke quits

White House Communications Director Mike Dubke is leaving his job, he confirms to the Daily News, in the first of what could be many staff shakeups as the Trump administration seeks to contain the growing Russian Federation scandal.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russian Federation, describing it as a "good thing" as the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: "Russian officials must be laughing at the US & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News".

He said the question is if it was a crime for Kushner to speak to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak as a representative of then-President-elect Trump, and the answer is no.

A Republican consultant and strategist, Mr Dubke reportedly offered his resignation on 18 May but agreed to stay on as Mr Trump undertook the first foreign trip of his presidency - a high-profile tour of Europe and the Middle East.

The resignation is seen by many in the U.S. as the beginning of a staff shake-up at the White House.

"Mike will assist with the transition and be a strong advocate for the president and the president's policies moving forward", he said.

The Post's report says that Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the USA, told superiors that it was Kushner who broached the subject.

But White House back-channel communications with foreign powers aren't unprecedented: Several other presidential administrations have used back-channel communication as a means of problem solving outside of traditional avenues.

Mr Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the media's coverage of his administration, regularly tweeting his displeasure at news reports.

"They have talked to many people, including me", Mr Bossie said. He later added: "It's an ongoing conversation, and that's a fair way to put it".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer ducked a series of questions on Tuesday about President Donald Trump's promotion of a Fox News story based on an anonymous source.

Dubke and Spicer have both faced criticism from Trump and senior officials in the White House since Comey's firing, and Axios reported that Spicer will be doing less on-camera press briefings. He remains an influential confidant within the White House as does his wife, Ivanka Trump. But staff members believe a bigger staff shakeup is looming - The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Trump associates were discussing shipping off chief of staff Reince Priebus to serve as ambassador to Greece.

During the Monica Lewinsky investigation, the Clinton White House brought on a dedicated group of lawyers and a created a separate media operation to handle investigation-related inquiries so they didn't completely subsume the president's agenda. That was the extent to which Trump himself has moved to defend his son-in-law, who was responsible for planning Trump's successful visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel last week. 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. USA intelligence officials have said Kushner is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Now, the White House is no longer burdened by the unnerving crackle of a simmering scandal, but by the heat of a five-alarm fire.

"Multiple reports now say that he discussed opening a secret line of communications that could be monitored by Russian intelligence but not American intelligence, which would be disqualifying", he said.

  • Salvatore Jensen