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Jay Carney to step down as White House press secretary

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images

This afternoon, President Obama announced that White House press secretary Jay Carney would soon leave his post, and be replaced by his deputy, Josh Earnest. In an appearance at the daily press briefing, Obama said that, in April, Carney told him he was "thinking about moving on — and I was not thrilled, to say the least." But Obama praised his performance and wished him well.

When Carney was announced as Obama's new press secretary in January 2011, he was viewed as somewhat of a surprising choice. He had worked at Time magazine for 20 years, and after Obama was elected president, he was named Vice President Biden's director of communications. He wasn't initially thought to be in the president's inner circle — but, Obama said today, "Jay has become one of my closest friends."

Carney's since held the grueling position for over three years. This is the longest stint of any press secretary since Mike McCurry, who served nearly four years under Bill Clinton. "I actually think he will miss hanging out with all of you," Obama told the room full of reporters.

Carney's successor, Earnest, has worked for Obama since his first presidential campaign.