President Barack Obama dropped a major bombshell on Friday. He announced White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will be resigning in a surprise press briefing appearance. In his remarks, Obama called Carney “one of my closest friends in Washington.”
“I’m going to miss him a lot,” Obama said of Carney. “I’m going to continue to rely on him as a friend and advisor.”
Carney was previously director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden. He became White House press secretary in early 2011. Before going to work for Biden, Carney was Washington bureau chief of Time Magazine.
Carney will be replaced by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Obama described Earnest as “honest and full of integrity.”
“I am sure at some point you will get frustrated with him,” Obama quipped about Earnest.
Obama also urged the White House press corps to “be nice to Jay on his farewell tour.” Carney will remain at the White House through the middle of next month. His departure comes as the Obama administration is facing a congressional investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya and a growing scandal over the care given to former soldiers by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Hours before the announcement of Carney’s departure Obama revealed VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was also resigning from his post due to the issues at the department.
Carney and Earnest did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. However, Carney spoke at the press briefing following the president and described his time at the White House as an “amazing experience.” He did not reveal what his next career move will be beyond expressing a desire to spend more time with his family. Carney, who worked for Time in Moscow during the 1990’s also confirmed
he will not be the next ambassador to Russia.
“I can assure you that my family, having won me back, would not be happy with that outcome,” Carney said.
(Updated 2:28 p.m.)
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