White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is stepping down from his post, President Obama announced Friday.
Obama made a surprise visit during the daily press briefing to announce the news. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest will take over as the top White House press aide.
“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser,” Obama said. “He’s got good judgement, he has good temperament and he’s got a good heart. And I’m going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend, an adviser after he leaves to spend as much of his summer as he can with his kids before he decides what’s next for him. Whatever it is, I know he’s going to be outstanding at it.”
Carney’s resignation was the second of the president’s administration on Friday. Hours earlier, Obama accepted the resignation of embattled Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Carney took over as press secretary in 2011, replacing Obama’s first top press official, Robert Gibbs. Carney is a former Time magazine reporter who served as Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director before joining the president’s staff.