WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters after talking to FOX News outside the West Wing of the White House April 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. "Democrats continue to show day in and day out that they're nothing but sore losers," Sanders said. "I think they're a sad excuse for a political party." (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters after talking to FOX News outside the West Wing of the White House April 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. "Democrats continue to show day in and day out that they're nothing but sore losers," Sanders said. "I think they're a sad excuse for a political party." (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:50
Trump tweets that Sarah Sanders is leaving White House
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Now playing
03:19
Biden to announce Afghanistan withdrawal by September 11
roger wicker
CNN
roger wicker
Now playing
04:52
Sen. Wicker on Biden's infrastructure plan: Not ruling out tax hike
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:02
Sources say Gaetz was denied meeting with Trump
CNN
Now playing
02:58
Avlon: This shows that crazy has a constituency
CNN
Now playing
07:27
CNN anchor pushes back on Texas state lawmaker's defense of voting bill
CNN
Now playing
01:12
Tapper asks Buttigieg for infrastructure plan timeline
Now playing
02:48
GOP governor calls Trump's RNC remarks 'divisive'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018:  The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
SCOTUS blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:13
Rep. Clyburn blasts GA voting law: It's the 'new Jim Crow'
Joe Manchin
CNN
Joe Manchin
Now playing
02:03
'I never thought in my life ...' Why Manchin won't walk away from bipartisanship
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Now playing
06:11
'Bombastic, antagonistic, unapologetic': A look at Gaetz's political career
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Michael A. McCoy/AP
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Now playing
02:42
Boehner says Republican colleague held 10-inch knife to his throat outside House floor
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
02:05
Biden calls for ban on assault weapons
CNN
Now playing
02:22
Biden: High-speed internet is infrastructure
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:24
Donald Trump breaks his silence on Matt Gaetz
(CNN) —  

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will leave her position at the end of the month, capping a tumultuous tenure as the President’s chief spokeswoman in which she largely redefined the role.

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Sanders will return to her home state of Arkansas and floated the possibility of a gubernatorial run for the White House press secretary. Speaking at an event later Thursday afternoon, Trump praised her as a “warrior.”

The descriptor reflected both the combative nature of Sanders’ tenure and extent to which Trump has admired her pugnacity amid a fire hose of controversies. Her departure leaves Trump without one of his chief public defenders, longest-serving advisers and closest aides.

The announcement of her exit, which coincided with the 94th day since she last appeared at the podium, also cast a spotlight on the scope of change she ushered in, offering a vanishing degree of accountability to the position.

Speaking at an event shortly after the announcement, Sanders called her role “the honor of a lifetime” and an experience she “will treasure forever.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to have the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this President,” Sanders said after Trump asked her to join him at the lectern. “I’ve loved every minute – even the hard minutes.”

Sanders chose her date of departure “well in advance” of Thursday’s announcement, one White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta.

In private conversations in recent weeks, Sanders has floated running for Arkansas governor, according to two people familiar with the talks. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was re-elected just last year, so unless he steps down early – or is appointed to something – the governor’s office in Little Rock isn’t open until January 2023.

She has told colleagues and friends that she thinks running for office would be a good next move for her, instead of taking a television job upon her departure.

Sanders’ tenure also marked a dramatic slide away from the traditional public-facing role of the White House press secretary.

Her resignation came on the 94th consecutive day without a White House briefing, the longest stretch of time without a briefing since briefings became a daily, televised occurrence more than two decades ago. In the past 300 days, only eight briefings were held, according to CNN’s tally.

But while Sanders stepped away from the White House briefing room podium, she remained a reliable public face of the administration on television networks, defending the President through the controversies that frequently engulfed his administration and amidst the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In that role, Sanders stood by Trump on nearly every front, from Trump’s attacks on the press and his hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with him to the administration’s zero-tolerance family separation at the border and his controversial comments about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Trump has denied the affairs.

Sanders public-facing role and her close relationship with Trump also led her behind closed doors, where she sat for an interview with Mueller’s investigators.

In that interview, Sanders admitted that she provided reporters with baseless information about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, according to the Mueller report, conceding that she had no basis for claiming that “countless members of the FBI” had lost faith in Comey.

“She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was not founded on anything,” the Mueller report stated.

Trump and Sanders developed a close relationship after one of his closest confidants, then-White House communications director Hope Hicks, left the West Wing last February. The President, who was the one that recommended Sanders stop the daily press briefings, regularly praised her in private, bragging to others about how she defended him in television appearances and scuffled with the press.

Her colleagues often compared their relationship to Trump’s bond with Hicks, noting that while Sanders wasn’t considered a family member like Hicks was, she was the next closest thing.

CNN’s Jim Acosta, Jeff Zeleny and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.