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The Latest: Trump to name Mike Dubke as comms director

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 2/17/2017
President Donald Trump walks away from his podium at the conclusion of a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Standing in the front row, from left are, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) © The Associated Press President Donald Trump walks away from his podium at the conclusion of a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Standing in the front row, from left are, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

8:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to name Republican consultant Mike Dubke as White House communications director. That's according to a person with knowledge of his hiring.

Dubke is the founder of Crossroads Media, a GOP firm that specializes in political advertising.

Dubke's hiring will lighten the load on White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who has also been handling the duties of communications director during Trump's first month in office. Trump initially hired campaign aide Jason Miller for the communications job, but Miller withdrew before the inauguration.

Trump has privately pinned some of the blame for his administration's rough start on the White House's communications strategy.

The person with knowledge of the hiring was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity.

-By Julie Pace

___

7:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus), is praising Trump's handling of his news conference.

Priebus tells Fox News that Trump is a great "salesman" and that "there's no person better to speak for President Trump than President Trump." He says Thursday's news conference "was an effective way to sum up what his message was yesterday and he did a fantastic job."

Preibus also blasted recent media reports as "totally fake" or "grossly overstated."

Priebus says there's a chance reporters are making up the news entirely or that there are some "bad actors" or "holdovers" in the intelligence community spreading false claims.

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