President Donald Trump said Thursday that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be leaving the administration at the end of the month and returning to Arkansas.
Trump praised her “for a job well done.”
But her turn in the role has been a departure from most previous press secretaries. On the day of the announcement, it had been more than three months since Sanders last gave a press briefing — a hallmark of the press secretary role during previous presidencies. Sanders last held a briefing for reporters on March 11, which was 94 days ago, according to CNBC.
During her tenure she “effectively killed the daily briefing from the White House lectern that had been one of the visible symbols of multiple presidencies,” according to the New York Times, which reported that “instead, she left it to Mr. Trump, who prefers to speak for himself and takes questions from reporters on a far more regular basis than most of his recent predecessors.”
Sanders started working for Trump in 2016 during the presidential race, after her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, dropped out of the GOP primary, according to Business Insider. She was Trump’s second press secretary in the White House, following Sean Spicer.
Trump wrote in the announcement on Twitter that “she is a special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job,” adding that he hopes she “decides to run for Governor of Arkansas — she would be fantastic.”
Sanders said she loved the job.
“It’s truly been something I will treasure forever,” she said at an event on another issue, according to USA Today. “I’ve loved every minute, even the hard minutes.”
In the last 200 days, just four briefings were held at the White House — and in the last 300 days, there were just eight, according to CNN.
Instead of the usual briefing, Sanders appeared frequently on Fox News to advocate for her boss, and would sometimes speak with reporters from other news outlets for a couple of minutes after those appearances, according to the Times.