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March 8, 2019

Bill Shine unexpectedly resigned as White House communications director on Friday, and now, the reason is coming into greater focus.

Numerous sources report that the relationship between Shine and President Trump deteriorated because the president was frustrated that he was failing to improve his press coverage. The Daily Beast writes that Trump has been complaining about this for months, with one source saying, "Trump loves a yes-man, but he loves good press more.”

Similarly, The New York Times reports that Trump "frequently criticized" Shine to his advisers because "his own press coverage had not improved." Trump also reportedly saw Shine as "ineffective" and "developing few ideas." The Washington Post backs this report up and writes that Shine's exit had to do with Trump being unhappy with his press coverage, and The Wall Street Journal says that Shine not being able to effectively deal with unfavorable news cycles led to Trump's "simmering frustration."

CNN, meanwhile, reports that some people in the White House didn't even understand what it is that Shine did because "they did not believe that during his tenure in the White House that the communications strategy had changed all that much," per Mediaite. New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi writes that some feel Shine will be more influential from outside the White House, while another source told her there may have been something of a power struggle. "Bill's a boss, and in that building, there's only one boss," the source reportedly told Nuzzi.

Shine has accepted a job as an adviser on Trump's re-election campaign, although the Times cites sources close to the White House as saying this is simply "a way to save face." Brendan Morrow

November 9, 2018

When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced out of the Trump administration this week, he never even heard from President Trump himself.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday it was White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who called Sessions on Wednesday telling him he had to resign immediately. The phone call came before noon, and before Trump had begun his post-midterms press conference, though Trump didn't announce the news on Twitter until that afternoon.

But Sessions would never end up hearing from Trump at all. "Neither Mr. Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence called him to thank him for his service," the Journal notes. CNN reported that Sessions asked if he could at least stay on until Friday but was told he needed to leave immediately.

Sessions also told the Journal that he stands by his decision to recuse himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a decision that Trump spent almost every week fuming about. “No one is above supervision,” said Sessions, who by recusing himself had been following the advice of his ethics officers. In conclusion, Sessions, who spent months on end being publicly mocked by a president who privately gave him the nickname Mr. Magoo, said that "we've had a good run" and "it's been an adventure." Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Brendan Morrow

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