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White House communications director quits after just three months

As a general rule, one of the surest signs of a White House in crisis is when prominent aides start fleeing.
The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty)
The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. 

Donald Trump's original plan was for Jason Miller, a top member of the Republican's campaign team, to serve as White House communications director. Miller, however, unexpectedly withdrew before Inauguration Day due to personal troubles, leaving Sean Spicer to serve as both the White House press secretary and the communications director, which never really made any sense, and proved untenable.

And so, a month after taking office, Trump hired Mike Dubke, the founder of a Republican consulting firm called Crossroads Media, to take over as communications director. This, evidently, hasn't worked out well, either.

White House communications director Mike Dubke is stepping down from his post after just three months on the job, NBC News confirmed Tuesday.Dubke tendered his resignation on May 18, but offered to stay on through President Donald Trump's first foreign trip, which ended Saturday. Trump accepted Dubke's offer, but his official last day has not been set and he was still expected to be at the White House on Tuesday.Dubke's resignation was first reported by Axios.

In case this isn't obvious, it's not a good sign when a chaotic White House, mired in scandal and tumult, loses its communications director -- after just three months -- despite the fact that he's one of the few people in the West Wing whose professional background actually matched his job description.

We don't yet have the details surrounding why Dubke decided to quit, but as a general rule, one of the surest signs of a White House in crisis is when prominent aides start fleeing.

There's also the added challenge of replacing Dubke. Under these circumstances, who'd leap at the chance of joining Team Trump as communications director?

As for the growing list of Trump World departures, we can now update the overall tally. Note, some of the departures were voluntary, some weren't.

- Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor- K.T. McFarland, Deputy National Security Advisor- Monica Crowley, advisor to the National Security Council- Katie Walsh, Deputy White House Chief of Staff- Boris Epshteyn, a Special Assistant to the President (he led the White House’s television surrogate operation)- Andy Puzder, nominee for Labor Secretary- Vincent Viola, nominee for Army Secretary- Philip Bilden, nominee for Navy Secretary- Anthony Scaramucci, White House liaison to the business community- Shermichael Singleton, Senior Adviser at HUD- Craig Deare, the NSC’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs- Marcus Peacock, senior White House budget adviser at OMB- Todd Ricketts, nominee for Deputy Commerce Secretary- Mark Green, nominee for Army Secretary
- James Donavan, nominee for Deputy Treasury Secretary- Mike Dubke, White House communications directorI suppose we could add former FBI Director James Comey to the list, though he was already at his post when Trump arrived.
Regardless, for a White House team that’s only existed for four months, this represents a rather volatile employment environment.