Josh Earnest, the White House special assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary, will assume Carney’s role, Obama said during a surprise appearance from the commander-in-chief during a scheduled briefing Friday afternoon.
“His name describes his demeanor,” Obama said of the incoming press secretary. “Josh is an earnest guy and you can’t find just a nicer individual.”
Carney, the 49-year-old former Moscow bureau chief for Time Magazine, told reporters after the president’s remarks that his last three-and-a-half years as the White House press secretary has been an “amazing experience” and “so fulfilling.”
Pres. Obama’s announcement came less than three hours after he confirmed during a separate press conference that morning that he had moments earlier accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the midst of a high-profile scandal that’s plagued the VA in recent weeks.
Carney is expected to stay press secretary through mid-June, and did not immediately disclose the reasoning behind his departure or his future plans.