White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave her post at the end of June and will return to Arkansas.
President Donald Trump announced the departure on Twitter late Thursday afternoon.
“After 3½ 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,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
Sanders, who took the job in July 2017 after initially serving as deputy press secretary, also worked on the Trump campaign. She is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate.
Trump called her up to the stage during a prison-reform event in the East Room of the White House.
“This has been the honor of a lifetime; the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder than to have had the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this president,” Sanders said.
Sanders is Trump’s second press secretary. She replaced Sean Spicer, who held the job from January through July 2017.
She initially shortened the daily press briefings, which traditionally ran for about an hour, to about 20 minutes, before reducing them to once a month or less.
Sanders is the third woman to hold the position of White House press secretary and the first mother to do so.
“I have loved it. I love the president. I love the team I’ve had the opportunity to work for—the most incredible and talented people you could ever imagine. It has been a special experience,” she said. “The only one that I can think of that might top it a little bit is that I’m a mom. I have three amazing kids, and I’m going to spend a little more time with them.”
Previously, Dana Perino, now a Fox News host, was press secretary for President George W. Bush for the final 16 months of his term. Dee Dee Myers was the first female White House press secretary, serving under President Bill Clinton for the first 23 months of his administration.
Sanders frequently engaged in sparring sessions with reporters, such as CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“It has truly been something I will treasure forever. It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have. I’ve loved every minute, even the hard minutes,” she said.