Press Secretary Sarah Sanders detailed her decision to retire from the White House on Thursday after she and the president announced the news.
“For me it’s been about my family, it always has been,” Sanders told White House reporters after the president recognized her service and announced her decision to leave.
She said she wanted to give the president time to get a new press secretary hired and in place in time for the 2020 election.
“I’ve loved every minute,” she said. “I know some people probably don’t buy that, but even the hard days are special.”
She called her time in the White House the “opportunity of the lifetime.”
She said the first thing she looked forward to was spending time with her children, who just got out of school for the summer.
“I look forward to going home,” she said, about her decision to return to Arkansas.
Sanders said she told the president the news earlier Tuesday.
“He couldn’t have been nicer, more supportive, more understanding, and more encouraging than he was,” she said.
When asked by reporters if she regretted holding fewer press briefings, she replied, “No, I don’t.”
Sanders defended her role in the position of press secretary by pointing to the efforts she made to make sure that people heard from the president directly on a number of issues.
“I think it’s far more important for me to have played a role into facilitating direct contact with the president of the United States to the American people, to hear from him and in his voice, than it is to hear from me and mine. No one elected me to anything, they elected the president,” she said.
Sanders laughed when asked if she would consider running for governor, saying that she knew enough about politics not to rule out the possibility.
“My focus, walking away, is to spend more time with my family and to go home,” she said.