President Trump's communications director, Mike Dubke, is leaving the administration after less than three months on the job, a White House official confirmed to the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
Dubke's arrival in the West Wing in March ruffled feathers among Trump loyalists who viewed the new communications director as someone who was too close to Republican opponents of the president, such as Karl Rove.
His brief tenure was marked by controversy and stories of internal chaos, and Trump has openly criticized his communications shop in recent days for botching reactions to a number of leaks and developments. For example, the president was reportedly incensed that his team offered conflicting explanations for his decision to remove FBI Director James Comey.
White House aide Kellyanne Conway acknowledged during an interview on Fox News on Tuesday morning that Dubke "has expressed his desire to leave the White House." She said he had planned to stay in the job through Trump's recent foreign trip, which concluded over the weekend.
"I did not know Mike Dubke before he came on as communications director. I did not know him well. I know he has worked hard here. But people in administrations leave on their own volition as well. They tend to find that working 18 hour days in different environments are maybe what's not best suited for them," she said.
Before leaving for his recent foreign trip, Trump suggested he could make changes to his communications operation, including possibly having fewer daily briefings with a spokesman. However, White House press secretary Sean Spicer is scheduled to return to the podium for the first televised briefing since the trip on Tuesday afternoon.
Conway said on Fox that the White House would continue to hold different kinds of briefings, with information from officials other than Spicer.
"There will always be White House briefings, but as you have seen, we have had cabinet secretaries and other administration officials going up to the podium when the issue sets they are working on are actually part of the news of the day," she said. "And that's going very effectively as well. Not every briefing has to be on camera, either. There are many audio briefings that many press secretaries in the past have given."
Reince Priebus, Trump's chief of staff, said in a statement Tuesday that Dubke would remain on board while the communications office prepared for his departure.
"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," Priebus said. "Mike tendered his resignation just before the president's historic international trip and offered to remain onboard 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."
News of Dubke's departure follows days of chatter that former Trump campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, who did not join the administration after the election but have been spotted at the White House recently, could be hired for new roles. Neither Lewandowski nor Bossie have not returned requests for comment.
Axios, which first reported Dubke's departure, said the communications director tendered his resignation May 18 but has not yet left.