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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave the White House at the end of June, President Donald Trump has announced.
“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,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “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.”
Sanders herself had not yet announced her departure at time of writing, nor are the circumstances of her apparent resignation known.
Named as Deputy Press Secretary after Trump’s election, Sanders was promoted to her most recent position in July 2017, replacing Sean Spicer. In her post, sparred regularly with an often vicious Washington press corps, and was subjected to scathing media criticism, along with her boss.
Sanders faced calls to resign after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report claimed she lied to the public on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Though Sanders called the claim unfounded, the mainstream media piled on, with CNN’s April Ryan calling for her firing and (hopefully metaphorical) beheading.
Trump offered no replacement for Sanders. However, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, a former Republican aide who had worked with Sanders’ father Mike Huckabee during his governorship of Arkansas, is a widely speculated candidate.
With its reporters often clashing with Sanders during rare White House press conferences, CNN greeted the news with one last dig. Host Jake Tapper said that President Trump’s conduct, including a controversial TV interview on Wednesday, is a stain on Sander’s character.
“I don’t know that that recommends her for any future job,” Tapper declared.
Though Sanders was wished well by Trump and a host of administration officials and prominent conservatives, the anti-Trump #resistance spared her none of their venom. One group of Democrat activists blasted her “disgusting legacy of defending the indefensible,” while another former Buzzfeed producer trembled at the “danger she has put our country in.”