WASHINGTON • White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, whose tenure was marked by a breakdown in regular press briefings and questions about the administration’s credibility, as well as her own, will leave her post at the end of the month, President Donald Trump announced Thursday.
Trump said he’s encouraging her to run for governor when she returns home to Arkansas, where her father once held the governor’s seat.
Sanders is one of Trump’s closest and most trusted White House aides and one of the few remaining who worked on his campaign, taking on the job of advocating for and defending a president who had his own unconventional ideas about how to conduct the people’s business.
At an unrelated White House event, Trump described Sanders as a “warrior” as he called her to the stage. Sanders, appearing emotional, said serving Trump has been “the honor of a lifetime” and pledged to remain one of his “most outspoken and loyal supporters.”
Sanders, who is married and has three young children, later said she wanted to spend more time with her family, but did not rule out running for public office. “I learned a long time ago never to rule anything out,” said Sanders, 36.
She was the first working mother and just the third woman to be named White House press secretary.
Under her roughly two-year tenure as chief spokeswoman for the White House, daily televised briefings led by the press secretary became a relic of the past after Sanders repeatedly sparred with reporters who aggressively questioned her about administration policy, the investigation into possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia or any number of controversies involving the White House.
Sanders has not held a formal briefing since March 11 — more than three months ago — and said she does not regret the decision to scale them back.