WASHINGTON - John McCain's top communications aides resigned Monday, the latest staff departures to hit the Republican's campaign as he struggles to rebound from financial and political woes.
Brian Jones, McCain's communications director, and his two deputies, Matt David and Danny Diaz, stepped down but plan to stay on through the week. Two others in the communications shop at the campaign headquarters also are leaving.
Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's current New Hampshire communications director, is expected to take over for Jones and head up a slimmed-down media operation.
The moves were all but certain following the departures last week of campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver; several of those in the communications office, including Jones, had ties to Nelson.
"This is not an acrimonious departure," Jones said.
McCain's second presidential bid has experienced enormous upheaval in the past two weeks as he accepted the resignations of Nelson and Weaver and watched other senior staffers leave as well; elevated Rick Davis to campaign manager from chief executive officer; laid off dozens of workers because of money problems; and disclosed that the campaign has only $1.5 million to spend.
Politically, McCain has watched his national poll numbers slide over the past six months, in part because of his unpopular positions on Iraq and immigration. He is seeking to restart his faltering bid with a smaller campaign staff and a narrower strategy focused on three states.