President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Press Secretary Jay Carney today, the second time in several hours the president has had to announce that an administration official is stepping down. He will be replaced by Josh Earnest, who is currently the principal deputy press secretary. Obama describes him as a "straight shooter."
The National Review uploaded footage of the president's announcement, which came during a regularly scheduled press briefing.
In his statement, Obama called Carney "one of my closest friends in Washington," adding that he would take the summer to spend time with his family.
Jay's had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time. He has been on my team since day one, for two years with the vice president, for the past three-and-a-half years as my press secretary, and it has obviously placed a strain on Claire, his wife, and his two wonderful kids.
The president mentioned Carney's 21-year-long career in journalism, adding "believe it or not, I actually think he will miss hanging out with all of you." Carney, who had served in the position since February 2011, said "it was an honor and a joy for me" to work as press secretary, adding "no matter how tough the briefing is, I walk out of here having been glad to stand here."
The Washington Post notes that Earnest is "well regarded among White House reporters, and he was long viewed as a likely Carney replacement."
Carney critics were quick to reflect on his career:
Too spend more time dodging questions with his family. RT @ZekeJMiller: BREAKING: Jay Carney is leaving the White House— daveweigel (@daveweigel) May 30, 2014
Earlier today, Obama said that former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has stepped down, following revelations about the dysfunction within the Veterans Affairs office.