Jay Carney Steps Down as White House Press Secretary

President Obama announces Josh Earnest as Carney's replacement.
10:18 | 05/30/14

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Transcript for Jay Carney Steps Down as White House Press Secretary
This is a special group. I'm debt that's an archivist ABC news digital special report wanna take you to the White House now where the president's as well -- a press briefing let's listen in. What do -- -- lines is I have no personnel announcements at this time. But I do and that's bittersweet. -- when mark. Closest friends here. In Washington. In April. -- came to me in the Oval Office is -- -- thing about moving on and I was. Not -- to say at least. But jays had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time he has been on my team since day one. For two years -- of the vice president for the past three and a half years as my Press Secretary and it is obviously place a strain on -- his wife and -- two wonderful kids Hugo and Della. -- Little League team BioWare. Has yet to see the other day and she's a fine picture. But he wouldn't -- enough games. -- it was a reporter for 21 years before coming of the White House including a stint. As Moscow bureau chief for time magazine during the collapse of the Soviet. Empire. So. He comes to this place -- a reporter's perspective. That's why believe -- or not I actually think you'll miss hanging out with all of you. Including the guys in the front row. But. The jays has become one my closest friends and is a great Press Secretary and a -- advisor. He's got a good judgment is good temperament. And he's got a good heart. -- -- -- -- I will continue to rely on him as a friend an advisor. After he -- to spend as much of -- summer as he can. -- -- -- before it decides what's next for whatever it is. I know is going to be outstanding. Reports that meant I'd make a decision which is. Who succeeds. Put in this in this slot somebody -- is also. A friend and advisor. So today the flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation. Mr. Josh -- -- is -- coach's -- from Kansas City. He still roots for. The royals I guess. The as you know. His name describes his demeanor and Josh is an earnest guy. And you can't find. Just -- nicer individual. Even outside Washington. The country of course knows him for his golden voice and also tones on west wing week. The biggest viral Internet -- sense of between two firms. But. But Josh and I have. An incredible history going all the way back to the Iowa Caucuses. Josh was my. Iowa communications -- -- and even when he was in that role you'd you'd find spending an extra hour to. Helping young staffers make phone calls or knock on doors there was no task. That was too small no detail. Two important for justice. A ten to. At the White House he's been a mentor to many of the young people here. -- or -- for him today. He is. -- sound judgment and great temperament. Is honest and full of integrity. And I'm sure -- -- at some point get frustrated with him as well. But is going to be -- because he's -- straight shooter. And and a great guy so. My request is that be nice to jail on his farewell -- And be nice to gushed during as a -- initiation which I'm sure will last maybe. Two days. Or perhaps two questions. So. We're gonna let him hang around a little bit to -- that for -- -- work. All right thank you guessed it. A hug. And a congratulatory handshake there's it's. And the white house press briefing room the president making a rare appearance where he is the gentleman. Now taking the podium -- the outgoing Press Secretary said Jay Carney the president announcing his replacement Josh Earnest news for the latest on what this means for the White House I want to bring in our political director Rick Klein Washington DC. Rick who saw this coming. This been a lot of speculation for months although the timing of this resonating for a long time this this is about to happen I think it's been. Pretty well documented that Jay Carney was looking for something that would get him out of that flak jacket to roll up before the midterm elections this is the time traditionally -- that. You have to decide whether you're all in for the rest you -- -- get out now because we're talking about and not a six month period of politics it's very intensive. And and in that final two years it's -- it's talked frankly to get new blood into the system because. It is the last two years of a lame duck administration it becomes increasingly not about you it's not that fine job at that point so. This is the time were we've seen isn't -- White House as you go around and say who's with -- and -- now -- pretty much at the state of the ends it would seem like an opportune time I suppose. For Jay Carney former journalist no stranger to. Two the Airways ABC news and others and in that capacity of previous life but now getting out in and getting out from behind that podium for the last time. Characterize the relationship when it was tough to summarize someone's career especially the profile as high as he is. But what's -- his relationship with -- though Jay -- because each of these press secretaries have had their own unique characteristics for how they've been -- and interpreted by the press. Hot -- I think the fact that he was friends and traveling partners are so many it people -- he -- every day probably cuts both ways for him in some ways is able to empathize and advocates. Four for them but I think he's also able to frustrate them because he knew a lot of things that we knew that he wasn't telling us and there was definitely a tense obfuscate to. -- it to try to she'd degrees of the truth as is typical at a White House press briefing so. On one level I think journalists feel like look this is this is someone that understands what we're -- getting at Kenya. Can you give a wink and a nod to that try to understand our point of view and he didn't come off that way he went all in. Working for Vice President Biden and then for President Obama in this White House he was time magazine bureau chief during the campaign he went to. To the other side and and advocated for the White House so I think that that complicated his relationship with the with the press corps I didn't hear anything other than respect formality anyone felt that he was anything less -- honest broker but I think there was a degree of frustration that you saw punctuating those briefings more often than not. Let me ask you about this -- -- is the question will be coming up about this the timing of the announcement this all coming after air -- -- he -- down as secretary of veterans affairs. Yeah I thought I think that's a coincidence I don't know in what in what world that makes sense to to try to stack up these resignations and have it makes -- make any kind of statement about where things stand it's a chaotic day for our colleagues who are covering the White House there a lot of news stories that are developing all of a sudden. I do think traditionally a Friday afternoon here on the need right after memorial they kind of the beginning -- summer. That is -- time to start dropping personnel announcements to make big movements. So that part is is not surprising but I don't think again I don't know reporting on this yet but I don't think that the timing. Of -- seconds resignation. Was timed to coincide -- you aren't. An agency that flurries of emails that are coming in up from all of our colleagues there is also -- Willard. Site -- the first line that if we learn recited when the president just that is his name fits his demeanor is an earnest guy you know young and and and full of energy and and one of them first Obama aides see. He came on board after serving briefly as. As Tom Vilsack Press Secretary. Back in the 2008 campaign a very short lived in and non remembered campaign of freedom up -- then go work for. That's Senator Obama during that campaign can't out in Iowa for a good portion of that. He's been the principal deputy Press Secretary at the White House someone that is -- go to person for a lot of times when Jay or other folks in this in the press shoppers aren't available. And I think Texas as pretty similar profile as some -- Is seen as a solid voice up there and an honest broker. And do we know for the tiger and as -- -- -- obvious this is breaking right now for the tying the transition the -- of the passing of the torch when that's gonna happen. You'll have to let me look at my email for that bad because of -- -- deal but. You know I don't think that there's there's no confirmation process here's that it it I don't think it has to be along wanted to have to be whatever time frame that that Jay Carney -- -- and yes they they mentioned that flak jacket there actually is a flak jacket. -- famously hangs on the on the back of the the door of the of the white house Press Secretary so I suppose that that formal transition there handing over that black jacket as part of the ceremony. ABC's Rick Klein able to dance with with any tune we put on the radio we appreciate Derek land beneath and athletic things -- -- White house Press Secretary Jay Carney holding has presumably his last press briefing we'll have to find out exactly what the timeline will be for the transition but the president making a rare appearance in the press briefing room this afternoon to make the announcement that in fact Jay Carney will be leaving his Press Secretary his replacement. Josh Earnest of course you can stay up to date with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- and of course. We will continue live streaming this press conference right here at abcnews.com. For now I'm down Cutler in New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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