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Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the newly elected governor of Arkansas who served as press secretary for President Donald Trump, will deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address next week, GOP leaders announced Thursday.

“Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the youngest Governor in the nation and a powerful advocate for the popular, common sense conservative principles that will put our country back on a better course,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sanders “is bringing new ideas for a changing future, while also applying the wisdom of the past, including from the leadership of her father, Mike.”

Sanders, 40, an Arkansas native and daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), managed her father’s unsuccessful presidential run in 2016 before joining Trump’s campaign as senior communications adviser. She also served as a spokeswoman during Trump’s first presidential campaign.

At the White House, Sanders first worked as the top deputy to Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, until he resigned in July 2017, when she assumed his role. She left the administration in June 2019. At the time, Trump urged her to run for governor.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats,” Sanders said in a statement. “We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America — to be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs, and opportunity for all.”

On Tuesday night, Sanders will deliver her response moments after the 80-year-old Biden, who is weighing another run for president, speaks to the nation.

During her early days as press secretary, some praised her calm demeanor in then-daily briefings with the press — a stark contrast to Spicer. But Sanders soon clashed with reporters, passionately defending Trump while confronting reporters, even when the information she provided was, at times, false.

One such instance earned a note in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the election. In May 2017, Sanders claimed that the White House had heard from “countless members of the FBI” supporting Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey. She doubled down the next day, insisting that supportive emails and texts had flown in.

In Mueller’s report, though, she said under oath that the claim was a “slip of the tongue.”

Freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R), who flipped a district along the Arizona-Mexico border and is considered a close McCarthy ally, will deliver the Republican response in Spanish.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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