WASHINGTON: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday that he is stepping down, only hours after President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Obama announced the resignation and said Carney will be replaced by deputy press secretary Josh Earnest.
Carney, 49, had been in the role for three years. His tenure followed that of Robert Gibbs, who left in 2011 and is now cofounder and partner of the Incite Agency. Carney will officially leave the position next month.
Obama made the "surprise" announcement during a press briefing on Friday, calling Carney one of his "closest friends." NPR reported that Carney requested to step down in April.
Previously, Carney served as the communications director for Vice President Joe Biden. Prior to the White House, he was Washington bureau chief at Time and worked for The Miami Herald.
Earnest now serves as deputy press secretary and White House special assistant to the president. He was previously the press secretary for Obama’s re-election campaign and also worked as a communications aide for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Here's a roundup of reaction from journalists on Twitter:
Carney has often had a combative relationship with the press. Earnest less so. It will be interesting to see how this relationship develops.— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) May 30, 2014
For old times' sake The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won’t answer your questions (interactive) https://t.co/nQlPM49tiU— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 30, 2014
When Carney started the briefing, he said: "I do not have any announcements to make at the top."— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) May 30, 2014
Correct me if I'm wrong: Jay Carney is the longest-serving WH press secretary since Mike McCurry in the mid-90s.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 30, 2014