Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

The Latest: Senate majority leader not a fan of Trump tweets

By The Associated Press

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

12:15 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is criticizing President Donald Trump for going off message on Twitter and elsewhere.

McConnell tells reporters that "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets" — but adds that he is a fan of what Trump has actually been doing.

And on substance, McConnell claims, Trump is not much different from how Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush would have been as president.

McConnell praises Trump's Cabinet picks as "truly outstanding."

And the Kentucky Republican says that despite "the extra discussion that he likes to engage in ... we're going to soldier on. We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can."

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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

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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.

2017-02-17 17:18:07 GMT

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