Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has been serving as White House press secretary for Donald Trump since Sean Spicer left the position, is preparing to leave that post by the end of June to return to her home state of Arkansas, according to a tweet from Trump’s official account.
The Hill says that Trump announced Thursday that Sanders would be leaving her position in the next two weeks.
“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…,” he tweeted.
Sanders, the daughter of Arkansas politician Mike Huckabee, has been with Trump since his 2016 campaign and was promoted through the ranks to her current position. She has been one of the president’s closest aides, and traveled with him recently to the United Kingdom and Ireland on his state visit.
Trump went on to call Sanders a warrior, and says that despite criticism in the press, she has done an outstanding job. The president said on stage at a campaign event that he is trying to convince her to run for the position of governor of Arkansas.
“If we could get her to run for governor of Arkansas, I think she’ll do very well. I’m trying to get her to do that,” he said.
But while Trump has only high praise for Sanders, Bloomberg says that her tenure was marked by criticism of the media and the “the near-disappearance” of the daily press briefing, often sharing information in the driveway of the White House spontaneously with various media agencies.
When asked if she plans to run for governor of her native Arkansas, Sanders, 36, says she hasn’t ruled it out. Trump has not named Sanders’ successor.
Sarah Sanders’ relationship with the media has been strained, and in January she said she no longer does daily press briefings because “the press covers her so rudely.” When Trump was asked if the media briefings would ever be held again by Sanders, he said he told her not to bother.
“I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway,” Trump said.
Sanders preferred to book appearances on Fox News or hold question-and-answer sessions with particular members of the media outside of the White House press room. Sanders has often been put on the spot to answer questions about awkward matters, like when she was asked if Trump had ever used a particular racial epithet. In response, Sanders said he couldn’t guarantee that he hadn’t.