Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving the White House at the end of June.
One of the longest-serving members of the President Donald Trump administration, Sanders began her time in the press office as deputy White House press secretary. She took the full-time position on July 26, 2017, taking over for the beleaguered Sean Spicer.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders' tenure has been very long by Trump White House standards, for good or ill.
She is, remember, only his second WH Press Secretary.
He has cycled through five Communications Directors in that time.
— Niall Stanage (@NiallStanage) June 13, 2019
The departure was announced in a pair of tweets by the president.
According to The New York Times:
Ms. Sanders informed her staff about an hour before the president's tweets that she would be leaving. No successor was immediately announced, but the next press secretary will take over just as Mr. Trump is heading into the thick of a re-election campaign that will determine the fate of his presidency.
If you've largely forgotten who Huckabee-Sanders is, that's understandable: she hasn't held a press conference in 94 days.
oh no who will not hold press briefings if sanders is gone https://t.co/GQSOvskbB8
— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 13, 2019
When she did appear before the camera, a diplomatic way to describe the Huckabee-Sanders approach to reporters and press conferences would be "hostile."
During her time in the White House, Huckabee-Sanders defended the administration on its policies, including:
- child separations
- migrant mistreatment at the border
- the trans military ban
- the president saying neo-Nazis were among "good people" at a white nationalist demonstration
Sanders lied to the American people on multiple occasions:
- she said the president "tripled" of former-President Barack Obama's efforts on African American employment
- she told the press that Trump never called for violence against his perceived enemies
- she said "countless members" of the FBI told her they had no confidence in former director James Comey and then lied about that lie
Huckabee-Sanders regularly told blatant untruths from the podium, ignored questions she didn't care for, and got into endless theatrical fights with members of the press.
Sarah Sanders was a shameless and consistent liar as press secretary but she did give a lot of background quotes falsely denying things or attacking Trump’s critics that reporters liked to tweet out as “from a senior administration official” so she wasn’t all bad.
— Adam Serwer(@AdamSerwer) June 13, 2019
Her departure was welcomed by a number of prominent figures, like The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan, who simply tweeted:"Good. Riddance."
"Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving the White House so she can spend more time with her lies," said writer J.D. Crowley.
Commentators speculated that the next move for Huckabee-Sanders could be a cushy role in media, something that filled progressives with dread and disgust.
"Anybody who writes anything rehabilitating Sarah Sanders should be forced to sleep in a cage," writer Jeb Lund tweeted.
"Dear all media/entertainment outlets," producer Andrew Kimmel wrote on Twitter, "do not have Sarah Sanders on your show. Do not put her on Dancing With the Stars. Do not have her surprise the audience at the Emmys. Do not invite her on to Saturday Night Live. The danger she has put our country in must not be overlooked."
Everything in this thread but for Sarah Huckabee Sanders: https://t.co/CVQYvO7ziZ
— Eli Valley (@elivalley) June 13, 2019
"Hollywood entertainers can now stop pretending they don't like Sarah Huckabee Sanders," said journalist Elizabeth King.
"Remember Sean Spicer at the Emmy's?" King continued. "They can't wait to embrace these people."