Sanders Stepping Down as White House Press Secretary

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks with reporters on May 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump said Thursday that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will leave her post at the end of the month and encouraged her to follow in her father’s footsteps by running for governor in her home state.

In a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, Trump fawned over Sanders’ “extraordinary talent” and said she is “going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” where he suggested she run for the top elected office.

“I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!” Trump tweeted.

Sanders’ father, Mike Huckabee, served as the 44th governor of the state from 1996 to 2007. The next gubernatorial election in Arkansas is not until 2023, after the end of current Governor Asa Hutchinson’s term. Hutchinson, a Republican, was re-elected last November.

Trump did not say who would replace Sanders as press secretary.

Sanders has notoriously misrepresented the achievements of the Trump administration, most notably by saying President Trump had “created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans,” and former President Barak Obama had only created 195,000 jobs for the black community.

The number is a vast understatement from the 3 million estimated new jobs created for African-Americans from January 2009 to 2017 under the Obama administration, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sanders said in a November 2017 hearing that immigrants coming to the United States through the diversity visa program had “no vetting system,” and there was no way to determine who enters the country. The program, created by former President George H.W. Bush in 1990, chooses candidates through a lottery system, and has “simple but strict eligibility requirements,” according to a report by the State Department.

In March 2017, Trump suggested through Twitter that Obama had wiretapped his phones during the 2016 election, a claim Sanders defended on multiple media outlets. She was quoted as falsely stating “there are multiple news outlets that have reported this.”

In October 2017, Sanders falsely claimed that Chicago has “the strictest gun laws in the country” while trying to argue that such laws aren’t effective at preventing violence. In 2012, Illinois became one of the last states to allow people to conceal and carry their weapons. In a national study by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, seven states were ranked to have stricter gun laws than Illinois.

Sanders also said Trump has never “promoted or encouraged violence.” At a February 2016 rally in Iowa, the then-presidential candidate suggested supporters take down protesters who apparently planned to throw tomatoes at him.

“So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise,” he said.

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