• After his first foreign trip, President Trump begins shaking up his White House.
• Resignation of White House communications director may only be the start.
• Trump again says on Twitter that Russian investigation is “Fake News.”
A long-promised shake up of the White House staff began on Tuesday with the resignation of the White House’s communications director, Mike Dubke.
In a note to colleagues, Mr. Dubke said the reasons for his departure are “personal.”
“But it has been my great honor to serve President Trump and his admin. It has also been my distinct pleasure to work side by side, day by day, with the staff of the communications and press depts. This White House is filled with some of the finest and hardest working men and women in the American government,” he wrote in his letter.
Mr. Dubke was on the job only three months. His departure could be the first of many in the media offices of the White House.
The multipronged investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — and the possible collusion of Trump campaign associates in that interference — now sprawls from the F.B.I. to at least three committees and subcommittees in Congress.
To Mr. Trump, it’s still “fake news.”
At this point, New York Times reporting indicates the Russian officials are as amazed by events as anyone. When Jared Kushner allegedly sought a back channel of communications with the Kremlin, the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, expressed surprise and concern.
At a fund-raising dinner in California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, joined Mr. Trump in dismissing the Russia investigation as a political exercise. Mr. Nunes had once headed the investigation for House Republicans but had to step aside after it was revealed that he was coordinating with the White House.
“The Democrats don’t want an investigation on Russia. They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that’s the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else’s fault,” Mr. Nunes said at the April dinner.
Mr. Trump also took his clashes with Germany public on Tuesday, castigating the United States’ trans-Atlantic ally for what he said were underpayments to NATO and to Germany’s own military.
The jab may have been prompted by a scathing attack by Martin Schulz, a German politician and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief rival, who castigated President Trump for humiliating the nation in Brussels with his scolding last week.