WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who upended the practice of daily press briefings, will step down from her post at the end of the month, marking the departure of one of President Donald Trump’s most trusted advisers.
Trump announced Sanders’ departure in a tweet, calling her “a very special person with extraordinary talents,” adding that he hopes “she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas.”
“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.
Sanders — the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential hopeful turned conservative television commentator — is one of the longest-serving White House aides, weathering a West Wing known for record staff turnover.
As press secretary, she abandoned the long-standing practice of delivering daily press briefings that were common under past administrations in favor of interviews on the Fox News Channel. The last briefing was delivered on March 11.
Trump tapped Sanders to replace Sean Spicer in July 2017, elevating her from deputy of the White House communications office. She also served as a 2016 Trump campaign surrogate, making the rounds of cable TV in support of Trump’s presidential bid.
As press secretary, Sanders has operated in a White House press shop that has had five different communications directors, including Long Island natives Anthony Scaramucci, who served in the post for 11 days, and Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who left the post after eight months to serve as a senior adviser on Trump’s re-election campaign.
Scaramucci, in a tweet, said Sanders “is a great person. She did an amazing job for @Potus and I am looking forward to her next chapter. The future is bright!”
Sanders, speaking alongside Trump at an unrelated White House event, called her time as Trump’s chief spokeswoman “an opportunity of a lifetime” and “something I will treasure forever.”
Trump has not yet floated names for a possible successor.