- The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will leave the Trump administration at the end of the month after serving the president for more than three years.
- In a tweet announcing her resignation on Thursday afternoon, Trump praised Sanders and encouraged her to follow her father’s footsteps in Arkansas politics.
- “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!” the president wrote.
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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave the Trump administration at the end of June after serving the president for over three years.
President Donald Trump announced Sanders’ imminent departure in a tweet on Thursday afternoon. He praised her work and encouraged her to follow in her father’s footsteps and run for governor of her home state of Arkansas.
He went on: “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
Trump did not announce a replacement for Sanders.
As of Thursday, Sanders had not held a White House press briefing in over three months. But she has regularly appeared on Fox News to defend the president on a host of controversial issues, and is widely viewed as a dogged and loyal aide. She is one of the longest-serving members of Trump’s inner circle.
After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
Trump brought Sanders up to the lectern during a Thursday-afternoon event at the White House and further praised her work for him, calling her a “great, great, magnificent person.”
“We’ve been through a lot together, and she’s tough, but she’s good,” Trump said with his arm around Sanders. He added that he’s “trying to get her” to run for governor. “She’s strong, but with great, great heart.”
Sanders then delivered her own superlative-laden remarks.
“I’ll try not to get emotional because I know crying makes us look weak sometimes, right?” she said, laughing. “This has been the honour of a lifetime – the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve my country, and particularly to work for this president.”
She added that she’d continue to be “one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president and his agenda.”
NEW: Pres. Trump recognizes outgoing White House press sec. Sarah Sanders during White House event: "We've been through a lot together. And she's tough, but she's good." https://t.co/30XyYoLQIQ pic.twitter.com/xE8VsRusfi
— ABC News (@ABC) June 13, 2019
Unlike many of the president’s top aides, Sanders grew up in politics. She’s the daughter of former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and served as field director for her father’s 2002 gubernatorial reelection campaign, was the national political director for his 2008 presidential campaign, and headed his 2016 presidential bid.
Sanders joined the Trump campaign in February 2016, shortly after her father dropped out of the Republican primary.
“I volunteered to join Mr. Trump’s campaign because he is a champion of working families; not Washington-Wall Street elites,” Sanders said in a statement at the time. “Like the other Republican candidates, Mr. Trump is pro-life, pro-marriage and will appoint conservatives to the courts. What makes Mr. Trump my choice for president is he will break the grip of the donor class on our government and make it accountable to working families again.”
Sanders’ work in the White House has been consistently controversial. She’s been accused of threatening the freedom of the press and regularly lying to the media and the public.
Sanders admitted to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigators that her statement that “countless” FBI agents had informed her they agreed with Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey was “not founded on anything.”
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