Sarah Sanders leaving White House job; governor run ahead?

Sarah Sanders speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington

White House spokeswoman Sanders leaving job at end of month Sarah Sanders speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump has announced White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving "at the end of the month".

Trump called her "a very special person with extraordinary talents". She's great. And she's going to be leaving the service of her country and she's going to be going - I guess you could say the private sector but I hope she's going - she comes from a great state, Arkansas.

Speaking at the White House following Mr Trump's announcement, Mrs Sanders said she will continue to be a loyal supporter of the USA president.

"Sarah, thank you for a job well done", the president added.

Sanders said she told the president the news earlier Tuesday.

She has been one of Trump's closest and most trusted White House aides and one of the few remaining on staff who worked on his campaign.

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She met her husband, Bryan Sanders, during her father's 2008 presidential campaign, and the couple married in 2010. Under her watch, her principal function as press secretary - representing the White House in media briefings - all but ceased to exist.

In fact, Sanders, 36, has a sometimes bitter relationship with the White House press corps and is seen as responsible for the demise of the formal daily briefing - practically an institution under previous presidents.

Sources close to the White House say Mrs. Sanders came close to leaving the job past year, but ended up delaying her departure after her top deputy, Raj Shah, left for the private sector.

She faced similar questions a year ago after Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's personal attorneys, surprised the White House by saying on national TV that Trump had reimbursed his then-fixer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 Cohen had paid porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet during the campaign about an alleged past sexual encounter with Trump. The ugly treatment of her came as criticism intensified over the administration's child-separation policy for illegal immigrant families at the southern border.

Sanders' time as press secretary is notable for what she didn't do as much as for what she did.

She retorted: "That's not what I said".

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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. I love the president.

A replacement was not immediately named.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been a stalwart defender of Donald Trump's for almost two years.

Sanders said, "I do not know", when asked if she is considering running for governor of Arkansas.

Meanwhile, the other most visible woman in the Trump administration, Kellyanne Conway, is coming under fire. "No one elected me to anything, they elected the president", she said.

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