Trump praises 'warrior' Sarah Sanders as hunt begins for replacement

Mr Trump rules out return of 'The Mooch'

Andrew Buncombe
Friday 14 June 2019 18:54 BST
Trevor Noah says that Sarah Sanders is leaving the job that she hasn't done for months

Donald Trump has praised his “warrior” of a press secretary, as the search begins for a replacement to Sarah Sanders.

The president announced this week that Ms Sanders, a combative spokesperson who declined to deny Mr Trump’s claim the media was “the enemy of the people”, would be stepping down at the end of the month.

Almost as soon as it was announced Ms Sanders, 36, would be leaving, speculation turned to who would replace her, in what has traditionally been one of the highest-profile jobs in the administration. There was also speculation, partly encouraged by Mr Trump, that Ms Sanders would seek to become governor of her home state of Arkansas.

On Friday, Mr Trump was asked about possible replacements.

“I know a lot of people that want it and they’re a lot of great people and sometimes you have so many that it makes it more difficult,” he said, praising Ms Sanders as a “warrior”.

He was asked about first lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham, and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who asked to be referred to by his nickname ”The Mooch”, who recently said he would not turn the job down if he were to be offered it again.

“Well, I like Anthony and he’s been very nice and all, but I think he should stay where he is right now,” Mr Trump said. “But Anthony really is a good guy, Stephanie is terrific. We have a lot of great people, we have a lot of good people to choose from.”

Ms Grisham has been part of the Trump communications operation since the presidential campaign began, one of just a handful of his original team, which also includes Dan Scavino, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway.

Trump press aide Sarah Sanders must be fired after admitting she made false claims, says White House reporter April Ryan

Reuters said according to a confidant of the president, Mr Trump has four leading candidates under consideration.

In addition to Ms Grisham, these were deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley, former state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, and outgoing treasury department spokesman Tony Sayegh.

Ms Gidley, a long-time Republican operative, is currently Ms Sanders’ principal deputy.

Ms Nauert has been talked about in the past as a candidate for the press secretary position. She had been a potential pick for the position of US ambassador to the United Nations when Nikki Haley stepped down, but withdrew from consideration.

Mr Sayegh has been the well-regarded spokesman for treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and has been talked about in the past for a White House communications position, Reuters said.

Mr Trump told Fox News: “Sometimes you have so many that it makes it more difficult. But we have some great – But Sarah was fantastic, and she is fantastic. She’s going to have a tremendous future.She has been a warrior, in a sense.”

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