FILE PHOTO: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders pauses as she answers a question from a reporter during a press briefing in the White House briefing room in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, a fierce loyalist of President Donald Trump, will leave her job at the end of the month to return to her home state of Arkansas, Trump said on Thursday.
The Republican Sanders, who is 36 and has three young children, has drawn fire from the White House Correspondents Association for limiting daily briefings, with Trump preferring to take questions himself from reporters and command the White House stage.
The last briefing was 94 days ago, but Trump answers questions from reporters on a near-daily basis, including two extended sessions with them on Wednesday.
Sanders evolved into a senior adviser and confidante of the president, one who is regularly brought into senior-level meetings.
Speculation immediately turned to whether Sanders might run for governor of Arkansas, a position once held by her father, Mike Huckabee.
“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,” Trump said on Twitter announcing her departure.
Reporting by Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney