Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Trump administration’s longest-serving press secretary, will leave her post by the end of the month, President Donald Trump announced Thursday afternoon.
“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. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job!”
Trump added that he “hopes she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas,” stating that she would be “fantastic.”
Sanders has in fact been White House press secretary for a little less than two years. She was previously a senior adviser for the communications arm of Trump’s 2016 campaign, a role she took on in February 2016.
….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
Sanders has been one of the most visible figures in the administration, despite her refusal to actually hold press briefings, traditionally a central tenet of the office of press secretary. The last White House press briefing was held an astounding 94 days ago, according to The Washington Post‘s count.
Instead, Sanders has been a frequent guest on cable news, parroting and defending Trump’s many lies and claims. In recent days, she has spent most of her time spinning the narrative surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in Trump’s favor, shooting down suggestions that Mueller’s final report was anything but a total exoneration.
Sanders will be at least the 43rd high-profile administration figure to quit the Trump White House, which has been plagued by dysfunction from the moment the president was sworn into office. She initially served as deputy press secretary under former press secretary Sean Spicer, before taking over the role in July 2017.
Her replacement will be tasked with deciphering and distilling a historically unpopular president during the run-up to the next presidential election in 2020.
This article has been updated to note that Sanders has not been press secretary for three and a half years, as Trump suggested, but has been in the role for a little less than two years.