Sarah Sanders said in a farewell message on her last working day as White House press secretary that she will be leaving her role with her “head held high.”
“Today I’ll walk out the gates of the White House for the last time as Press Secretary with my head held high,” Sanders wrote in a tweet.
She added, “It’s been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to work with President [Donald Trump] and his amazing team the last three and a half years. You’re the best…Thank you!”
Today I’ll walk out the gates of the White House for the last time as Press Secretary with my head held high. It’s been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to work with President @realDonaldTrump and his amazing team the last three and a half years. You’re the best…Thank you! pic.twitter.com/6H0uyMRtFX
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 28, 2019
Earlier this month, Trump announced Sanders was going to step down from her role at the end of the month and return home to Arkansas.
“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. 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!” Trump wrote in a tweet at the time.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
In an emotional speech after the president’s announcement, Sanders expressed appreciation for being able to serve the president and that she loved “every minute” of it.
“This has been the honor of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this President. He has accomplished so much in these two and a half years, and it’s truly been something I will treasure forever,” Sanders said.
“It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have. I’ve loved every minute. Even the hard minutes, I have loved it. I love the President. I love the team that I’ve had the opportunity to work for. The President is surrounded by some of the most incredible and most talented people you could ever imagine. And it’s truly the most special experience.”
Sanders, who took over the role from Sean Spicer in July 2017 after previously serving as deputy press secretary, is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is also a two-time Republican presidential candidate. She served as field director for her father’s 2002 reelection campaign and was the national director for his 2008 presidential bid.
The outgoing press secretary has not publicly discussed her plans after leaving the White House but her father told Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” that his daughter would likely spend the next few months readjusting to life outside the nation’s capitol.
He added that thinks his daughter would make a “great candidate and terrific office-holder” if she chooses to take a political route, an idea the president had previously floated.
“She wants to decompress, spend time with her kids and enjoy the summer away from it,” he said. “She will start looking to the future. She hasn’t made specific plans. I don’t know if she will run for office, but if she does she will be a great candidate and terrific office-holder whatever it might be.”
First lady Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham has been named to be the person to replace Sanders in the role. Grisham will also take up the role as White House communications director.
“I am pleased to announce StephGrisham45 will be the next PressSec & Comms Director! She has been with us since 2015 – potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the WhiteHouse.
#BeBest” the first lady posted on Twitter.
I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director! She has been with us since 2015 – @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 25, 2019
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.