White House press secretary Jay Carney chided a reporter at Friday's press briefing for asking a "lame" question about whether embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusObama's health secretary to be first female president of American University Leaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet Romney: Trump victory 'very possible' MORE chose to leave the position on her own.
A White House official said Sebelius informed Obama in early March of her intent to leave. She was present at Obama’s healthcare law victory speech earlier this month, but was not publicly thanked by the president at that time.
"That's pretty lame," Carney said. "The president gave you plenty of sound ... today on his feelings of Secretary Sebelius and her service, and you got it pretty clearly."
Obama publicly addressed her departure from the White House Friday and said she will "go down in history" for her efforts in leading the HHS department.
The president did acknowledge there were hardships that he and Sebelius worked through but ultimately credited her for helping the White House get more than 7 million individuals enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.