Sarah Huckabee Sanders Replaces Sean Spicer As White House Press Secretary
On Friday, Sean Spicer resigned from his job as White House press secretary after a mere six months on the job, reportedly in part due to the hiring of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. And during his first-ever statement to the press as a member of the Trump administration, Scaramucci announced that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the White House press secretary going forward.
Huckabee Sanders, 34, has been deputy press secretary throughout the first six months of the Trump administration, and occasionally subbed in for Spicer over the course of his tenure. That became increasingly true in recent weeks, as she became a familiar face behind the podium, even as the number of on-camera press briefings has dwindled in the midst of scrutiny and controversy over the GOP's health care bill and the Trump-Russia scandal.
It remains to be seen whether Spicer's departure, Scaramucci's hiring, and Huckabee Sanders' ascension will result in a return to daily, on-camera briefings. In fact, Scaramucci was unwilling to commit to more on-camera briefings during his introductory press conference, saying he'd need to speak to President Trump before making any such decisions. He did repeatedly praise Huckabee Sanders, however, and told the assembled press corps that the president "loves" her.
Huckabee Sanders will be the third woman to serve as White House Press Secretary, following in footsteps of Clinton administration Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, and Bush administration Press Secretary Dana Perino, currently a Fox News host.
While Spicer's stint as press secretary ended up being extremely brief, and Huckabee Sanders' promotion incredibly quick, it's not the fastest turnover that's ever been seen for that job. At the very start of the Clinton administration, George Stephanopoulos spent just 138 days as press secretary before giving way to the aforementioned Dee Dee Myers. By way of comparison, Spicer's run lasted 182 days, or just slightly more than six months.
It's not uncommon for press secretary job to see a high amount of turnover, even over the course of a president's single term. The Obama administration rolled through three press secretaries in eight years, while the Bush administration had four, although that was partially due to the illness and subsequent death of Tony Snow late in its second term. The Clinton administration had the most press secretaries ― five over the course of eight years ― since the Harry Truman administration of 1945 to 1953.