Sarah Sanders to Leave White House, Donald Trump Announces in Unexpected Tweet

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced that she will be leaving the Trump administration at the end of June.

Sanders gave a tearful speech at a White House event for second-chance hiring, where she thanked the president and said she had enjoyed her time working for him. The president called her a "warrior" and encouraged her to run for governor of Arkansas.

"She's going to be going back to Arkansas with her great family," Trump said before saying he was trying very hard to convince her to run for governor of the state. He called her a "Special person, fine woman...strong but with great, great heart."

President Donald Trump had announced Sanders' departure just a few minutes earlier in a tweet.

"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," the president wrote on Twitter. "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!"

The president has only been in the White House for two and a half years.

Sanders' father, Mike Huckabee, was governor of Arkansas for 11 years before unsuccessfully running for president, and Sanders' got her start working on his campaigns and in his office.

"When most kids were going to summer camp, I was doing the Arkansas festival circuit, passing out push cards and shaking hands," she told C-SPAN in a 2017 interview. "I got bit by the bug early."

Sources close to the White House have said that Sanders' has privately discussed running for the office herself, according to CNN.

The 36-year-old Republican began her role with Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and took over the role as White House press secretary from Sean Spicer in July of 2017. She has lasted longer in that role than any of Trump's previous mouthpieces. In recent months, however, Sanders made herself less accessible to the press. She has not held a "daily" press briefing in 94 days.

"Sarah Sanders has been a gladiator for the cause against the daily attacks from the mainstream media," tweeted GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. "Thank you for your service to America and Donald Trump!"

Some on the left weren't quite so kind. "We won't miss her, but we must never forget her lies and her cruelty," tweeted Beyond the Arc, a Jewish political advocacy group. "We cannot let her avoid accountability for serving as the chief mouthpiece and enabler of this admin's bigoted and violent policies."

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib responded to the group's tweet with two waving hand emojis.

Mike Huckabee will join Fox News tonight, where he is expected to discuss his daughters' departure. "I'll be talking with @IngrahamAngle 10pm ET 2nite on @FoxNews and will bring my collection of My Little Pony puzzles and explain how they provide a roadmap to the 2020 elections," he tweeted just hours before Trump's announcement.

This story is developing and will be updated as new information becomes available...

Sarah Sanders Trump Aides Lie
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders talks to reporters after an interview with FOX News outside the West Wing, June 11, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Sanders would not deny a report that President Donald Trump told aides to lie about him trailing Joe Biden in an internal poll. Getty/Mark Wilson
Sarah Sanders to Leave White House, Donald Trump Announces in Unexpected Tweet | U.S.
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