Why Don Baer isn't surprised by Mike Dubke's resignation

Former Bill Clinton comms director and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Don Baer evaluates Mike Dubke's job as Trump's communications director.

WASHINGTON: White House communications director Mike Dubke has resigned a short three months after taking the job. Burson-Marsteller CEO Don Baer, who once held Dubke’s former role in the Clinton administration, said Tuesday he wasn’t surprised by the news. 

"On some levels, their communications have been not very successful in terms of moving the whole country forward on an agenda that's clear and that the president is making progress on," Baer said.

Dubke resigned May 18 and offered to stay on through the end of President Donald Trump’s trip overseas, which ended on Sunday, according to Axios.

Amid widespread reports of a West Wing shakeup, Dubke and other communications aides have reportedly been lectured behind closed doors by Trump about his unhappiness with the White House’s messaging operation. Trump has also suggested cancelling the daily press briefing and said his surrogates simply can’t keep up with his actions.

"[The communications director] needs to be someone who can gain the trust of the various key players who are involved in both development and putting forward the comms strategy," Baer said. "More important than anything, this person needs to gain the trust of the president in terms of advising him and helping to guide the president about how to take advantage of his voice and his presence."

Joining the White House in mid-February, likely put Dubke in a "constant state of catch up," and being one of only a few staffers who wasn’t involved with the Trump campaign, Baer added. Before joining the Trump administration, Dubke led two Republican-leaning communications firms, media firm Crossroads Media and public affairs firm Black Rock Group.

"It’s always a challenge after the presidential campaign for someone to come into the communications director job who wasn’t in the campaign, especially so early in the administration," Baer explained. "A lot of working relationships that are formed over the course of a campaign are difficult to recreate when you're in the middle of such a hectic and, in the case of this White House, chaotic schedule."

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