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Jay Carney resigns

White House press secretary Jay Carney is resigning as the White House’s principal spokesman.

President Obama announced the move in a surprise appearance during Carney’s briefing, the same day he accepted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation.

Carney will leave his job next month, and he’ll be replaced by his deputy, longtime Obama aide Josh Earnest.

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Obama hailed Carney as “one of my closest friends” and a “great press secretary”

“I'm going to miss him a lot,” Obama said. “I will continue to rely on him as a friend and adviser.”

The president said Carney had first approached him about leaving the White House earlier in the spring. Around that time, rumors surfaced that Carney was interested in pursuing the job as U.S. ambassador to Russia.

On Friday, Carney said flatly he was not interested in that job, which remains open.