The top candidates emerging from inside the White House, multiple officials said, are director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration who has become a Kelly ally in his battle against Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Tony Sayegh, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department... There is also a broad internal base of support for press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to take on the job, adding overall messaging strategy.. The communications shop has long been one of the rockiest departments in the West Wing, with the top job there viewed now as a thankless task of overseeing messaging for a message-resistant, Twitter-happy president... Trump likes to revive names from his original, campaign inner circle.. Jason Miller, a veteran of the 2016 campaign, has been floated internally as a potential candidate for the job. Miller was first tapped for the communications director job during the transition in 2016, but was unable to take the job for personal reasons. He has managed to remain a favorite of the president, though, for his Trump-defending commentary on CNN... the role Hicks played is not replaceable — she was one of Trump’s closest confidantes, serving as a resource for colleagues who relied on her help reading the president’s moods.