Crack in Trump's camp *White House top aide resigns

By Editor on 30/05/2017

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The White House communications director Michael Dubke has resigned, in the first sign that a long-expected staff shakeup by President Donald Trump, has begun.

Senior White House officials confirmed to the Guardian that Dubke handed in his resignation on 18 May, before Trump left for his first overseas trip.

White House aide Kellyanne Conway said on Fox and Friends, meanwhile: “He has expressed his desire to leave the White House, and made very clear that he would see through the president’s international trip and come to work every day, and work hard through that trip.”

Trump has been reported to be considering a shakeup, with press secretary Sean Spicer believed to be likely to be moved. Conway, who has previously dismissed stories that have later proved to be true, brushed off speculation that more changes were coming.

“In terms of quote ‘staff shakeups’ I always read things that simply aren’t true,” Conway said. “I work here every day, it’s much more collaborative than people realize. We’re constantly being told by people who’ve never worked in the White House, let alone this White House, what’s going on here.”

She added: “I also would note, because many people again misreported this, that Sean Spicer is expected back at the podium today for an on-the-record briefing at 2pm.”

According to a report in Axios, Trump is considering an overhaul to the White House communications strategy, which could include fewer on-camera briefings.

“There will always be White House briefings,” Conway said. “Not every briefing has to be on camera.”


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Trump, meanwhile, apparently bypassing his communications team, fired off two tweets on Tuesday, dismissing the Russia investigation as “fake news”.

“Russian officials must be laughing at the US on how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the fake news,” the President wrote.

Trump has repeatedly refused to accept the conclusion by US intelligence agencies that Moscow disrupted the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic emails. The FBI and at least three congressional committees and subcommittees are investigation Russian interference, and a special counsel was recently appointed to investigate whether Trump’s associates may have colluded with Russia during the campaign.

The tweet follows a report by the Washington Post that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, sought a “back channel” to communicate secretly with the Kremlin. In a statement to the New York Times, Trump said he has “total confidence” in his son-in-law.

In a string of early morning tweets on Sunday, of which some were deleted and reposted for spelling errors, Trump said it was his opinion that “many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNewsmedia.”

Trump also resurfaced his criticism of Germany on Tuesday, admonishing the US ally for what he has repeatedly mischaracterized as a failure to “pay their fair share” to the NATO alliance and the country’s military.

The rebuke may have been prompted by the suggestion by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that her country needs can no longer completely rely on longstanding British and US allies

“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,” he tweeted. “Very bad for US. This will change.”




Source The Guardian UK

Posted on May, 30 2017

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