When Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller abruptly bowed out of being President Trump's White House communications director on Christmas Eve, Trump gave the job to Sean Spicer, adding the role to his job as press secretary. That was apparently a temporary promotion. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has been actively trying to hire a communications director for weeks, but "his overtures to several Republican communications professionals have been met with disinterest," Politico's Eliana Johnson reports, citing "a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the situation."
At least two people have turned down the job — "a position normally coveted by Washington political operatives," Johnson notes — according to one source. "There is a list of candidates, but I can see why people aren't interested," a senior administration official tells Politico. "It's a tough job."
Steve Schmidt, John McCain's presidential campaign manager and an aide in George W. Bush's White House, explains the particular challenges in Trump's: "The communications director job in the White House has always functioned as the strategic planning job, understanding the necessity of building and maintaining public approval for the president's policies, and when you look at the complete and total chaos emanating from the White House on a number of issues, it's clear they have no strategic planning function."
Crafting a political message is also made difficult by a president who prefers to set his own message via Twitter, and not always with a clear strategy in mind. Chief strategist Stephen Bannon also has sent an aide, Julia Hahn, to try and get stories in print, creating a sort of alternative press office, Politico says. The White House did not respond to Johnson's request for comment. You can read more at Politico.