As a staffer in the Trump White House, it’s dangerous to get too much attention; President Trump is known to dislike it when his staff outshines him in the media, or when aides get too much credit.
But as the departure of White House communications director Mike Dubke shows, having too low of a profile doesn’t protect you either.
“Mike is a pro,” said Katie Packer Beeson, a Republican strategist who has known Dubke for years. “But a communications expert is only as effective as the principal allows them to be. The best communications director in the business is no match for a boss who thinks they know better, changes their mind and struggles with the truth. This is an impossible job and no amount of compensation in the world would make it worth taking.”
Dubke tendered his resignation on May 18, though his departure only became public knowledge on Tuesday in an Axios report, after Trump returned from his first foreign trip abroad. Dubke, a founder of the media-buying firm Crossroads Media, and an establishment Republican, was primarily brought in by press secretary Sean Spicer, another mainstream Republican figure whose stature within the administration has suffered. A shakeup in the White House communications shop after the foreign trip had been rumored for some time, but Dubke's departure is the first concrete sign that one could be underway. The embattled Spicer, whose job has seemed perpetually in danger from the beginning, still gave the press briefing on Tuesday. One possible outcome is for Spicer to replace Dubke, with deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders taking Spicer’s current job.