Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made her first appearance Friday in her new role as a contributor on Fox News, but her responsibilities appeared mostly unchanged from her last job.
During an interview on the network’s morning show “Fox & Friends,” President Donald Trump’s former spokeswoman signaled she will continue to serve as a vocal and loyal defender of her old boss from her new perch at his favorite network.
“They still see me as somebody who is a very pro-Trump supporter. I’m not going to change my position,” Sanders said when asked about criticism she has faced in public places from the president’s detractors.
“It would be very odd to go from doing what I was doing, to all of a sudden doing something different,” she added. “I loved my experience. I loved working for the president. I think he has been able to do some tremendous things for the country, and I look forward to watching him do it for six more years.”
Trump weighed in with ringing praise after the segment, tweeting: “Great interview of Sarah Sanders by @foxandfriends. She is a terrific person with a great future!”
Sanders’ vociferous endorsement of the president’s leadership from outside the White House contrasts markedly with other former administration officials’ assessments of Trump after departing government service.
Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House communications director who promoted Sanders into her previous post, has blanketed cable news airwaves in recent weeks to level harsh blows against the president, accusing him of employing “racist rhetoric” and having “gone off the rails.”
Even former Defense Secretary James Mattis, the retired Marine general who has said he feels duty-bound to keep quiet his opinions about the president, has hinted at disagreements with Trump’s foreign policy outlook and provocative social media pronouncements during recent interviews for his book tour.
At Fox News, Sanders is poised to champion Trump and his agenda perhaps more vocally than even Stephanie Grisham, her successor as press secretary, who has shied away from media appearances and shown reluctance to embrace the part of the White House’s attack dog to the extent Sanders did in the position.
Grisham, who served previously as a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, has yet to hold a press briefing and has participated in only a small handful of TV interviews.
But Sanders’ political ambitions could stretch well beyond Washington and benefit from Trump’s backing. Three people who have spoken to Sanders told POLITICO in June that she is seriously considering a run for Arkansas governor in 2022, and multiple people close to Sanders spoke of a poll commissioned by her allies that showed her beating potential rival candidates in the gubernatorial race.
Unlike explosive accounts by former administration officials including Omarosa Manigault Newman and Cliff Sims, Sanders previewed Friday that her book will recall fondly her time serving under Trump before her resignation as press secretary in June.
“My experience was extremely positive. My book will be positive,” she said.
By QUINT FORGEY
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