Sarah Sanders Leaving White House Post, Trump Says

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will leave her position at the end of the month, capping a tumultuous tenure as the President’s chief spokeswoman in which she largely redefined the position.

Announcing her departure on Twitter, President Donald Trump said Sanders will return to her home state of Arkansas and floated the possibility of a gubernatorial run for the White House press secretary.

“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 said. “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!”

In private conversations in recent weeks, Sanders has floated running for Arkansas governor, according to two people familiar with the talks. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was re-elected just last year, so unless he steps down early — or is appointed to something — the governor’s office in Little Rock isn’t open until January 2023.

She has told colleagues and friends that she thinks running for office would be a good next move for her, instead of taking a television job upon her departure.

Sanders’ tenure also marked a dramatic slide away from the traditional public-facing role of the White House press secretary.

Her resignation came on the 94th consecutive day without a White House briefing, the longest stretch of time without a briefing since briefings became a daily, televised occurrence more than two decades ago. In the past 300 days, only eight briefings were held, according to CNN’s tally.

But while Sanders stepped away from the White House briefing room podium, she remained a reliable public face of the administration on television networks, defending the President through the controversies that frequently engulfed his administration and amidst the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In that role, Sanders stood by Trump on nearly every front, from Trump’s attacks on the press and his hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with him to the administration’s zero-tolerance family separation at the border and his controversial comments about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Trump has denied the affairs.

Sanders public-facing role and her close relationship with Trump also led her behind closed doors, where she sat for an interview with Mueller’s investigators.

In that interview, Sanders admitted that she provided reporters with baseless information about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, according to the Mueller report, conceding that she had no basis for claiming that “countless members of the FBI” had lost faith in Comey.

“She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was not founded on anything,” the Mueller report stated.

Trump and Sanders developed a close relationship after one of his closest confidants, then-White House communications director Hope Hicks, left the West Wing last February. The President, who was the one that recommended Sanders stop the daily press briefings, regularly praised her in private, bragging to others about how she defended him in television appearances and scuffled with the press.

Her colleagues often compared their relationship to Trump’s bond with Hicks, noting that while Sanders wasn’t considered a family member like Hicks was, she was the next closest thing.

3 comments

    • not_pennysltucky (@ds18301)

      Sad that your high school football mentality of politics allows you to applaud the complete erosion of transparency in our government (which is preserved by a free and properly informed press). We have lost that. We have been told to shut up and accept outright lies (now know as “alternative facts”!) and most egregious that Americans have no right to know the truth — that in fact the press is the “enemy of the people.” Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves. This should concern ALL Americans who have might still have any interest in liberty and freedom — regardless of political view.

      • yabbadabbadude

        Lying again, as usual. President Trump said “fake news is the enemy of the people”, not the press itself. Since his election our ‘free press’ has outed itself as the propaganda arm of the democrat party, but then again they always were – they just were more subtle about it. President Trump has not done one single thing to impede the press…he just calls them out on their daily lies, omissions, and any other obfuscation you can think of. They’re still free to report as they see fit.

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