President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Michael Dubke in 60 seconds
01:00 - Source: CNN

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Crossroads Media founder tapped for communications director position

Some loyalists unhappy with pick; wanted Trump insider

Washington, D.C. CNN  — 

Crossroads Media founder Mike Dubke is expected to be named as White House Communications Director, two administration officials tell CNN.

The appointment is expected to be announced as early as Friday, the officials say.

The expected appointment is rankling some inside the White House, with longtime Trump loyalists inside and outside the West Wing saying they would have preferred a veteran from the campaign.

“Dubke and his Crossroads friends did everything they could to kill the Trump movement and failed,” one loyalist said.

Former Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller was originally tapped to serve as communications director for the White House, but Miller stepped aside before Inauguration Day to spend more time with his family.

Dubke did not respond to a CNN request for comment.

Dubke founded Crossroads Media in 2001 and brought it to a level of national prominence during the 2008 presidential campaign. It is “the premier Republican media services firm,” according to a description on its website. And Dubke has “a unique understanding of the relationship between political strategy and public policy development,” the website explains.

Relief for Spicer

The appointment is expected to take some of the heat off embattled press secretary Sean Spicer, who has endured a rocky start to his tenure as the official spokesman for the administration.

Until now, Spicer has served as both White House press secretary and communications director for the new administration. Those roles are typically filled by two staffers.

Crossroads Media is a political admaker based in Alexandria, Virginia, that has served both super PAC American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. American Crossroads was founded in part by Karl Rove, a senior strategist for former president George W. Bush.

During the 2016 campaign, Rove once referred to then-candidate Trump as “a petty man consumed by resentment and bitterness.”

Crossroads GPS, a companion group of American Crossroads, is listed on the Crossroads Media website as one of its top clients.

Asked to comment about the connections, a White House official said none of Dubke’s ads attacked Trump during the campaign.