White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave the job at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In a pair of tweets, the president said Sanders will return to her home state of Arkansas. He thanked her for what he called a “job well done.” “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas — she would be fantastic!” Trump tweeted. He did not immediately announce who would replace her.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: “After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential. I’m not the only one. I was part of a mass purge of ‘hard pass’ holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps, including all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents.
Reporters have long approached White House press secretary Sarah Sanders with a trust-but-verify attitude, knowing full well that Sanders is tasked with spinning some of the more unspinnable statements made by her boss, President Trump. But with the publication of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report last week, Sanders’s credibility among the people who cover her has been stretched about as taut as a violin string.
Concerned that the White House may have influenced the Justice Department’s decision to try to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, Hill Democrats asked for any correspondence between the White House and Justice Department relating to merger. But the White House counsel declined, citing executive privilege.
Trump has now burned through five communications directors, raising the question of whether he really even wants one.
President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of his communications director, Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who had spent just nine months on the job. Shine will join the president’s re-election campaign as a “senior adviser.” It was not immediately clear if the president urged Shine to resign, or the extent to which he will be directly involved in Trump’s 2020 operation.
Fox News has always been partisan. But has it become propaganda? As the president has been beset by scandals, congressional hearings, and even talk of impeachment, Fox has been both his shield and his sword. The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead.
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine got $8.4 million in severance pay from 21st Century Fox after he left in May 2017. He’ll also receive bonus and options payments in 2018 and 2019 amounting to $7 million for the two years combined. The agreement is set to expire May 1, 2019.
NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd on Tuesday criticized the White House’s new rules for reporters at presidential news conferences, calling them “absurd” and predicting that journalists won’t follow them.
After a federal judge ordered that CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s credentials be temporarily restored last week, the White House sent Acosta a letter saying it had made the “preliminary decision” to suspend his pass. The White House said Acosta would continue to hold his credentials while the 14-day judge’s order was in effect. CNN sought an emergency hearing, saying in a Monday court filing that the administration was creating “retroactive due process.”