White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders will leave her post at the end of June, Donald Trump announced yesterday on Twitter.
The US President wrote: "She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job.” He added that she would be returning to her home of Arkansas.
Sanders said her time in the administration was "the honour of a lifetime”. She added: “This is something I will treasure forever. I’m going to continue to be one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president.” No announcement has been made yet over her replacement.
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Sanders has had a combative relationship with the media, often repeating her boss' allegations of fake news, The BBC says. According to CNN, her legacy will be “the death of the White House press briefing”.
Sanders has faced “fierce criticism from members of the press for being dishonest on the president's behalf during press briefings that were often contentious and emotional”, Fox News says.
Sanders replaced Sean Spicer in the White House post in July 2017. The 36-year-old drew derision from many when she said that God “wanted Donald Trump to become president”. She is “one of the few remaining in the White House who worked on [Trump]s] campaign”, Sky News says.
Sanders was responsible for a controversy of her own when, after Trump fired FBI director James Comey in 2017, she told the media she had “heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the President's decision”. She later said this remark was a “slip of the tongue”.
When Sanders attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner last April, host Michelle Wolf said: “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It's probably lies.”
Her cantankerous relationship with the media is reflected in the fact that her last media briefing was held on 11 March - 94 days ago. This led the Washington Post to say her time as press secretary was “notable for what she didn’t do as much as for what she did”.
There is already speculation that she may run for office. Sanders is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, who served as the governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Trump wrote on Twitter today that he hoped she would run for the same position, adding that “she would be fantastic”.
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