Sarah Huckabee Sanders is out as White House press secretary, Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Thursday. She'll vacate the position at the end of June after more than three years.
News that Huckabee Sanders would no longer be serving as press secretary came on Thursday, after a difficult day for the Trump administration.
In a tweet, Trump praised his press secretary as "wonderful," calling her a "very special person." He said she had done a great job as press secretary, but did not reveal why she was leaving.
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
For her part, Huckabee Sanders hasn't addressed her departure from the White House as of this writing. The Press Secretary Twitter account has been active in the last 24 hours, but is mostly just retweets of messages from the president. It's unclear if Huckabee Sanders intends to reveal her reasons for leaving.
News of her departure came amid speculation that she would be out by the end of the year. Sources told CNBC both she and deputy press secretary Raj Shah were planning to leave the Trump administration by December. Huckabee Sanders denied those claims on Twitter, accusing CNBC of making untrue predictions about her "plans." She said, "I love my job and am honored to work for [POTUS]."
Huckabee Sanders hasn't given a formal press briefing in several months. Instead, she's addressed reporters on the South Lawn at the White House after TV interviews, Daily Mail pointed out. Her last official briefing was held on March 11 — more than three months ago.
She faced a lot of criticism during her tenure as press secretary for her combative exchanges with members of the press in briefings, and for giving answers that were misleading or contradictory to comments Trump, 72, had made.
In one widely reported incident, Huckabee Sanders alleged after former FBI Director James Comey's firing that "countless" agents within the bureau had lost confidence in his abilities to do his job. That claim was contradicted in Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation, released in May, according to CNBC.
The White House hasn't announced who will take Huckabee Sanders' position. She stepped into the role in 2017, following Sean Spicer's departure. Before that, she had been a member of the Trump campaign's communications team. She joined the team in 2016.
The White House is currently without a communications director. To date, five different people have had the job inn a span of about two and a half years. The most recent person appointed to the position was Fox News executive Bill Shine.
The president faced backlash for giving ABC's George Stephanopoulos extraordinary access to him and the White House in an interview, during which Trump admitted that he would not call the FBI if offered information on a presidential candidate ahead of the 2020 election.
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