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Trump needs to reboot the White House message. That could mean less airtime for Spicer.by Kellan Howell
Politics

WATCH| The White House has been struggling to control its message and with President Trump leaving for an overseas trip, it could be the perfect time for him to hit the reset button. That could mean a staff shakeup and less face time for Sean Spicer. 

Kicked off the podium

Between the gaffes, mixed messages, and inability to put a lid on the ballooning Russia scandal, Trump is reportedly so frustrated with his communications team that he's considering taking Press Secretary Sean Spicer off the podium for the White House daily press briefings. 

White House officials told Politico that Spicer will no longer be expected to do daily, on-camera briefings once the president returns from his trip, but it's unclear whether Trump will fire his press secretary.

Spicer's deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, could take over the daily briefings. Sanders already had a trial run, fielding questions about the firing of FBI Director James Comey while Spicer was away serving his Naval Reserve duty. 

But it's not just Spicer in the crosshairs, Trump is reportedly so frustrated with by the slip-ups that he's considering other staff changes. Even Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon could be targeted. 

Poor messaging 

"
It’s pretty clear that the white house has a really difficult time managing the message," said Steve Billet, director of the legislative affairs program at George Washington University.

Trump himself has admitted publicly to his team's communication problem.

In February, during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump gave himself an A-plus for effort but said he would give his staff a "C or C-plus" on messaging.

Bring in the experts 

The rumor mill has speculated all week about who Trump might bring in, but experts say the president would be wise to bring in some old hands. 

"If you look at, go back and look at the way James Baker managed the Reagan white house or the way Leon Panetta managed the White House when they were there. They really understood the process, they really understood how to manage access, to manage the message," Billet said.

"The one thing I would look for is someone who has broad and deep experience in managing political operations," Billet said. 

It's not unusual for an administration to make some tweaks to its staff, but a major shakeup so soon into a new term would be out of the ordinary. 

Billet says the White House may have a hard time finding people to take over senior positions. 

"It’s a hellish place to work, quite frankly, if you’re in the messaging part of the white house," he said.

Ratings 

Trump is unpredictable, and we know that he's obsessed with his ratings on TV. That could save Spicer. 

"Sean Spicer is, as Trump has said himself, amazing ratings and to some degree its hard for me to believe that the Trump administration would really cancel something that gives good ratings," said Nikki Usher, an assistant professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.