Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘set to leave White House by end of 2018,’ report says

The White House press secretary has not directly confirmed nor denied the rumours as yet

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Thursday 14 June 2018 17:59
'You don’t state the facts': CNN’s Jim Acosta calls out Sarah Huckabee Sanders during White House press briefing

Rumours are swirling about White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders possibly leaving her role.

The most visible member of the White House has told friends she plans to leave, according to sources who spoke to CBS News.

She, along with deputy Raj Shah, would join the ranks of former press secretary Sean Spicer, communications director Hope Hicks, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Anthony Scaramucci who lasted only 10 days as communications director, among several others. The lower level staff in the administration have also been plagued with issues and departures the last 18 months US President Donald Trump has been in power.

Ms Sanders and Mr Shah have not responded to a request for comment from The Independent nor any other media outlets. She did tweet on Wednesday evening about an hour after the CBS News report that she “love[s] her job” and accused the media of not speaking with her about her alleged departure.

The 35-year-old Ms Sanders did not, however, directly deny that she would be leaving by the end of 2018.

CBS News retorted that it had made “repeated requests” for her comment on the matter.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to admit Donald Trump will make money from new tax bill

David Cay Johnston, author of The Making of Donald Trump, told BBC News: "Her denial is: 'I don't know anything about this.' She doesn't say: 'I'm not leaving'. It's what we call a non-denial denial”.

Ms Sanders has had contentious relationship with the press, as the president often takes matters into his own hands and makes announcements via Twitter rather than having his press secretary handle them.

Sources told CBS News that it frustrates her more than journalists do, which is normal for a person in her position.

She has also reportedly received threats as well, which could be a possible reason for her departure.

Ms Sanders and the White House also came under fire by critics in their response to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine that night.

Mr Trump did not attend the dinner, meant as a light-hearted roast of the commander-in-chief. His adversarial relationship with mainstream is well documented in his numerous insults of “fake news” on Twitter and live comments.

Ms Wolf jabbed harmlessly at Ms Sanders achieving her “perfect smokey eye” makeup with the ashes of burnt facts. Ms Sanders and other White House aides like Kellyanne Conway took that to be a criticism of the press secretary’s physical appearance rather than a comedy routine.

One worry, according to sources, is that Ms Sanders’ and Mr Shah’s departures could mean even more consolidation and vacancies in an already-bare bones senior staff.

"Nobody wants to come in," a source close to the administration told CBS News. "So they've gone through two rounds and now they're at third tier of people who are just lucking out -- battlefield promotion ends up promoting people who aren't qualified for the position”.

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