Mike Dubke, who resigned in May after a short stint as White House communications director, says that during his interview for the post with President Donald Trump, the President asked him whether he should hold a press conference that very day.
Dubke recalled the experience in an interview with Washingtonian published Thursday. Dubke said that when Trump first asked him about holding a press conference in February, Dubke suggested he consult policy experts and pick a date in the future.
“No, I mean today,” Trump replied, per Dubke. “I think we should do a press conference today.”
Trump then proceeded to prepare for and hold that presser as Dubke looked on, he told Washingtonian. As Trump spoke to reporters, Dubke was visible in the background on television even though he’d yet to receive an official offer for the job.
Dubke also told Washingtonian that he struggled with leaks as communications director, and that the constant leaks to the press undermined his work steering the White House’s messaging. Specifically, he regrets not taking action when White House staffers leaked details about a meeting he held with the communications team to the press. He told Washingtonian that at the time, he didn’t feel like he had enough evidence to fire anyone.
“If I had one regret from my time there,” he told Washingtonian, “it’s that I wish I had done that in a couple of cases.”