Shortly before 2pmET, President Obama appeared in the White House briefing room for the second time today to announce Jay Carney is resigning as White House Press Secretary. He will be succeeded by Josh Earnest, currently the deputy press secretary.
Obama said he will continue to rely on Carney, who is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, as a “friend and advisor.”
“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great Press Secretary and a great advisor,” Obama said. “He’s got good judgment, he has a good temperament and he’s got a good heart. And I’m going to miss him a lot.”
The White House press corps applauded as Obama officially “passed the flak jacket” to Earnest, saying “his name describes his demeanor … you can’t find just a nicer individual, even outside of Washington.”
The cable news networks all took the announcement live. “I’m literally picking my jaw up off of the ground,” NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker said on MSNBC. “I was not expecting that. The rest of the press corps, to my knowledge, didn’t get a heads up about this. It really was a surprise announcement. That is rare at this White House, for the press corps to be surprised.”
Video after the jump…