Transcript for Sarah Sanders out as press secretary
And. Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom this Thursday on ABC's Devin Dwyer in Washington with some breaking news the president of the United States says his long time Press Secretary sir Sanders. Is on the way out she's going its consent to leave the White House at the end of the month after. Three and a half years of service each usually consequential person. In this administration much more than a spokesman after the president she was at his side it's on the the most significant moments of the presidency serving. As much as an advisor and confidant as as a spokesperson obviously. Also oversaw. A downgrade in relations with that with the white house press corps. Not holding a briefing there in 94 days over three months. That is a record and I'm joined now I hear in a briefing room with her White House reporter Jordan Phelps. I George how this all go down it kinda came out as a surprise and a busy news day. Yeah DeVon the president really got to make the news here is sending out a tweet that we know that. Before that's your seniors gathered some staff in her office and and told them about her plans to leave now. Sanderson and reveal a whole lot about what she might planned to do next there's a lot of speculation that she might actually. Consider running for governor in Arkansas that is obviously not kinds I had been confirmed but that is. That chatter even within the halls of the west wing. I she really cited her family and her commitments to her children and she said that it's really just time for her and her husband. To go back and in Arkansas with their kids this is the time of the summer recess so it makes sense for the timing of her children to move this summer get him settled a pro start. In capturing a half years is certainly a long time for any Press Secretary said that would certainly. Seemed to be in the normal category for departure at this time here so the president characterized Sarah Sanders a short time ago. Had an incredible job we've been through a lot together and she's tough but she's good in any also have toughened bad right. She's tough and she's good she's gray. She's a special. Person. A very very. Fine woman. She has been so great she is such heart she's a warrior. He is no word warriors. We're warriors. World war is we have no choice and we have to new orders. In this world but she is a word thank you so very much. And we should say as George's point about the three and a half years is as a spokesperson for the president obviously started with the campaign served under Sean Spicer the first Press Secretary. I'm mature what do you think her legacy will be you are in that White House briefing room. Every day you work with sir Sanders in her staff. She has a pretty good report with depressed but she's also I had some pretty contentious moments. Seven typically has a relationship as being respectful. Member of that team and I certainly within the White House she's highly respected but when you look at the traditional role of a Press Secretary she just hasn't been serving that role as we noted. I she hadn't reached break nearly she's only held two briefings total base year. And soups I think we Drudge partially DeVon. For cutting back on access daily access to that traditional daily press briefings to that to the highest building in this country. And also called out we should save by special counsel Robert Mahler in his reports are Sanders did sit down to special counsel she admitted to misleading the public several times. From the White House podium denied attitude to rescind those statements in subsequent public enemies including moment George Stephanopoulos. And and who as a pertain to the FBI's response to the firing of James call me. It's or her credibility certainly also taking a hit at times in this press corps. Absolutely she sparred with us on many times and that particular and stay in particular. Rotting to question whether she was always telling us. The truth and of course that is your currency at a Press Secretary so certainly something shall be judged harshly and possibly running for office yours house. Or senators addressed her departure a short time after president trump announced. Try not to get emotional. Because I know that crank to make us look we sometimes right. This has been honorable life time opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn't be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this president. It he has accomplished so much and these two and a half years and it's truly then. Something I will treasure forever. It's one of the greatest jobs I could ever have I've loved every minute even the hard minutes. I have loved it I love the president. I love the team that I've had the opportunity to work for the president surrounded by some of the most incredible and most talented people you could ever imagine. And it's truly didn't most special experience. The only one I can think of that might topic just a little bit is the fact that I'm a mom as three amazing kids. And I'm the spend a little north how much. Anybody you know assessor Sanders knows that she's very close with her children she always talks about that in fact when she was holding briefings she would often. Prefer her kids from the podium that's a very genuine. Side of her so who's gonna replace her I guess is the big question. Adding that Jake's question Devin we don't have any ninety up but we do know that there are certainly people within now White House who are angling for that some people in the deputy position you might be interest said. That DeVon we know that this isn't it priestly fickle president for. He without the air route and you know representing him in front of the press he did not. He was not please was Sean Spicer her predecessor we've also seen some other senior members. That communication staff turn over and record numbers in series C enters. Has really been that consistent character they are so that's what the president is losing their is that trusting person him he could consistently throughout in front of cameras. And no he beat please. I had to dwindling number of some of the originals and the term campaign are left just Jared in a vodka Stephen Miller among them. Just a couple of other stance Covina the social media director still by the president's side that there has really been an axis of all the originals and as you point out Jordan there hasn't been. He it big effort to replace all of those people so really sort of an empty now. Of the west wing continuing and of course we know that the cabinet positions as well remain a lot of acting. Secretaries unconfirmed as we head into the summer months but Sarah Sanders a big departure today certainly worth noting. Thanks for that analysis Jordan's stand by will be back with you shortly. But I'm not to some other breaking news this afternoon this from the State Department the trump administration today said that Iran was directly responsible. For attacks on school oil tankers in the gulf of Beaumont overnight take a look at these. Pretty incredible pictures these attacks came just a month after four other ships were attacked in the same area these images. Really alarming US navy had to rescue the crew from one of the ships they spotted a running in vessels. I'd near one of those shifts here's what secretary Mike Pompeo. Had to say about this incident a short time ago. It is the assessment of the United States government. Did the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence and weapons use. The level of expertise needed execute the operation. Recent similar rating attacks on shipping and effective no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act. Was such a high degree of sophistication. Rise should be diplomacy would this boom is the number of terror and bloodshed and extortion. The United States will defend its forces. Are dangerous and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability. We hold on all the issues threatening virus provocative acts to join us in that endeavor. This happened on a key shipping route for millions of barrels of oil going it's chewing from the Persian gulf a third of the words oil. Passes through the gulf of Oman it's a critical region there in the Middle East you see on the map former Defense Secretary ash Carter visited the briefing room a short time ago. We asked him about the stakes in all of this for Americans resorted to say. It's serious in two senses of the first of all even though we are not valued as United States is dependent. As we used to be directly upon gulf oil the world economy isn't so it comes back to us and price spikes in that sense sport. But the real strategic importance as you can't have Iran. Attacking. Shipping and kind of trend of dominate its region from what is overall a very week. Geo strategic position. For that so that it played a dangerous game if they're if they're they are. Hi here. Let's go to the Pentagon now from warm what this means are senior pentagon reporter Louis Martinez has been all over the story Louie. Did secretary of state dep issued somewhat of a veiled threat a little earlier today said that if American interest are at risk here that the US will respond the suggestion. It was militarily do we know yet if. If a red line has been crossed with the administration in this series of attacks we know about how we might respond. Well then I can tell you that definitely this item is being discussed at the highest levels of the US government he don't send secretary of state out there to make an allegation on elect the one that he did. Without me having concrete evidence and without having it and disgusted at the highest levels. It is extraordinary mean to see as secretary Pompeo out more than twelve hours after the first reports. Of this incident having taken place let her call that about a month ago with those four freighters that were attacked. The US publicly blaming Iran but. That took weeks for that public claiming to take place in and took about a week for the assessment can be made. That it was probably Iran that was behind the attack in here you have whirlwind women twelve hours. The senior America's senior diplomat publicly blaming. Iran there is there is discussion about how to react to this this aggression. It's a matter Leahy said is it a red line that the and trump administration. I had set for Iran we know that they've been very public in their language about the war how strong. They feel that Iran is posing a threat to the American forces in the region as well as its interest and like he said the secretary Pompeo they're saying that. I'm the US will come to the defense of itself or of its any partner nations in the area if they come under attack. And certainly a hot situation room Martinez keeping an eye and thinks in the Pentagon thanks a lot Louie. On the breaking news not a ABC news exclusive and extraordinary interview with president trump over two days or George Stephanopoulos. Spend time fine with the president and Air Force One in the beast as he traveled. On the road and then of course getting that exclusive sit down in the Oval Office and in the Rose Garden just official is here. On the rim with us in the briefing room he heads are White House unit helped George Stephanopoulos with the you know your White House reporter. Jordan Phelps is here as well just this interview was significant for number reason whose. Intense security there's more to come op couple big picture things that stood out to me Tom first thing you have now the president has not sat down with us for year a year to the date. That in itself. Is remarkable that he is actually taking time to speak ABC he usually does these friendly interviews free doesn't get challenged the way that others would cut to his credit. You know he's got he used it will not be able to get off the phone OK but he sort of ended that and so this was great to get. George a chance at we don't Mikey he got about two hours with them all said. Bomb so well. And he lot of headlines there's that. That he actually did the interview and second that George is someone who can fact check in real time he was able to do that. It's just someone could actually challenge him and cushion and we saw that and that's what led to these headlines the big headline. Would like to play that sound for your right now obviously about trump saying he would be open to listening to. Foreign intelligence. Again in the next campaign let's play that. OK let's put yourself in a position your congressman somebody comes up and says hey I have information on your opponent you call the F. I don't think coming from doing you do not see a lot of things although I like I don't think in my whole entire debacle the FBI in my own life. You don't call the FB Jake Alexis who had been director since that's what should happen the FBI director is wrong because frankly it doesn't happen like that let. Your campaign this time around foreigners if Russia and China someone else offers information upon should be except leadership the call the FBI. I think. Maybe do loves I think you might want to listen I don't there's nothing wrong with listening if somebody call. From a country Norway. We have information on your opponent. I think that want to hear if you want that kind of interference in our elections not in the disappearance they have information I think that take it. So and so is this such a big deal listen the president was tweeting sort of a defense after the fact Simpson talks to foreign governments all the time what's he supposed to do what they look volunteered for me. Well for them away as George pointed out. You're supposed to tell the FBI and not let sit and and and that's the that's the headline trump after all this this whole investigation we went through. Its first two years of his presidency he's saying well let's listen. And it takes a question of the president will be comfortable with Democrats. That they would do this but calling on China to get a hold his taxes Hillary Clinton has raised this hypothetical what the democratic. Nominee we're to solicit help from a foreign government which he'd be fine with that and this ordinance I'm all rather hard to imagine you wouldn't yes size for that one but hey we'll we'll have to ask them internist him lot of. A blow back on Capitol Hill. Republicans or been pretty quiet on this. Asked we have heard a couple Republicans expressed some discomfort with that we now see Democrats. Leading this new push to pass legislation that would require campaigns to report to the FBI. If they get offers of a foreign help. But also creating quite the stir out on the campaign trail among those democratic candidates as you might expect. Come on Harris and former vice president Joseph Biden saying that this shows the president come to the national security threat that he's again. You know inviting foreign interference and then a number of others going so far as to say this hastens has called. Nancy Pelosi said it's appalling that behavior as president even if it's not a legal. And most importantly it isn't the president's ally Lindsey Graham we caught up with him today and he said this is not the right thing to do it Lindsey Graham as saying in. Chris phrase FBI directors saying it and even his attorney general and then Bill Maher saying these are you know and trump. Is saying plainly there to George that the FBI director is wrong they are wrong. I should be able to listen and then. That baton that raises questions for Democrats is he saying. I would openly. Come at a crime because that's the that we mean there are laws about this stuff and and but he's walking this fine Mike is his. He's not he's just raising the Specter which really agitated that Democrats and they and their sort of track struggling to figure hatteras. Model also shows just how an apologetic he has for the last go around fright this was sort of what the investigation was all about the president. It's saying here he has no apologies and paying duty it's been. Finger in the eye there drawn to monitor and drama and George also asked the president made during his right into the east. About this in flurry of recent polling that cannot national polling Steve Collins said the president. In some pretty tough matchups against Democrats it's very early we should say this is one poor but the numbers don't look so great let's see how the president respond to that question. Well I don't believe those girls is no heat beats me in Texas so that even hero polls show your behind yeah no way we'll show that a winning everywhere. We hope we've all seen reports that fifteen out of seventeen states that too comfortable in your mind. It's. That nobody should get those goals because as most something's. They're supposed to exist. PM losing and fifteen out of seventeen cents. That's calls don't exist I just was given the meeting that might bolster. I frankly don't even believe it falls music one you could just run a campaign and whatever it is it is but I just had a meeting with somebody that's upholster. And I'm winning. Everywhere. And he's polling obsessed he is personal can I just say. Do we got access into the into the limousine the beast. Things huge. But that when you open the doors the doors early this thick and once they get in there they're all you some small cramped ghetto which is Kenneth and a notice on George wears his seatbelt. Imagine that no rest. Very irresponsible. Yes it looks there were internal reports neither reports war and we reported that his internal polls in the pulls at the present conduct himself we're not correct they shown pollute losing in several key states Wisconsin Pennsylvania. He's he's he's against these polls now I would point out you know. So is Biden bite is not that big in the polls right now it is very early I think we all need to be very careful what how we look at these polls in general. So so you know he's got he's got a he's got some allies there I just hope this doesn't and on the run of the ring delay. Cheniere from around here I don't see how that plays out now finally drew dare to ask about some news out of the White House that hit just before we came on the air today the Office of Special Counsel which is different different. From Robert Mahler its own independent watchdog agency that enforces government ethics rules actually issued a letter to the White House today. Sin that Kellyanne Conway the president's advisors should be removed. Him from office because of repeated violations of the hatch act tell us about that yeah. Really remarkable this is the first time this office has actually recommended a White House official. Be removed from their seat but they're going so Parsons say that with Kellyanne Connolly they described her as a repeat offender. The hatch act. Eyewitness violation. Well basically Kellyanne Conley has been kind of blue slipped and making statements related take campaign issues and ask me. As a formal government official she supposed to steer clear of wading into these kind of campaign issues influencing campaigns. At and they say she's she's overstaffed that now. To be expected the White House is coming out with a full throated defense of Kellyanne Conway they are saying that this is a deeply flawed argument. And they are arguing that this violates Kellyanne Conway he's free speech rights. But DeVon and you want now covering the Supreme Court they've spoken out on banks if you are a government official your first amendment rights are more limited. It doesn't look like she's going anywhere and anytime soon as gets ahead it's the White House's own discretion have to. Certainly has the final call here there are no teeth it's an advisory agency even interest seen unprecedented and yes Leonard nonetheless I think he's so much just official had a little White House unit Jordan Phelps at the White House for us. God next up two or more of our conversation with former Defense Secretary ash Carter who came in today he is a new book out. Called inside the five sided box lessons from a lifetime of leadership inside the Pentagon it's a fascinating read asked him. About the biggest threats facing our country the necessity of a space force the controversy over transgender is troops in the military. And what it's like to lead one of the biggest agencies and all of government. You speak about national security threats in the book you've actually like a good. Military guy have an acronym for address ER I KT. China Russia Iran North Korea terrorism. The five biggest guns which formed worries you the most when you. Well yeah it's easier to talk about Sierra KP which does have military units. Usual way turned into an Akron an amendment. Sensible one cricket. Kurt was just my a very simple way of saying here are today's problems we need to be ready in an answer your question which is the worst. You can eat we gotta do all five. And if you think about it each of those five is focused only on us they only have one problem Rick. We have five problems to worry about that doesn't talk about the future and a few of the secretary defense you in this sector defensive today but you always got to remember tomorrow as well suspects forces that I will that's an example. I would take a different manager. Wrote I want ask your way parenthetically President Obama was attracted bass forced to. And he kept coming back to me about this tonight enthusiastic about creating assets are glad you won't let him dealing several media question. In which he said ashen and we. Space force. And I always said you know I think the other and I argued for another managerial approach and he would. Except that got to do when asked about North Korea the president current president president trump has been repeatedly claiming that the administration was awfully close to war. With North Korea in fact just yesterday he said it looked like it was going to be war with North Korea when I took over as president. Everybody knows that is that true. Our human say it was close to war I would say. In his interview with with torch if an opera session president. Was asked if a foreign country approached him with some. Information or his democratic opponent. What would he do we seek your them out. Eat it do you see any danger in that. Yeah I think. Because the United States in any matter ought to be relying upon information provided by. Federal. Or forward he says its foreign governments every day we Christian tort fund. Powers everything you need and they do they tell you things and sometimes you believe him and sometimes you. You do people when it comes to domestic politics. My answer would be. Look we'll talk about firm policy but a knock and talk about American politics with few foreign leader. You were also the secretary who lifted the military's ban on trans gender service members which was you were hailed for significant decision that you know this presence reversed it. Just last week he said of transgender service members they take massive amounts of drugs you're not allowed to take drugs. One to ask you but that surely you heard those counter aren't usually the time how. To overcome your mind you things started a company that no others who do something is in the air we have an all volunteer force and we need to get good people. And what matters is military qualifications. Everything else is social policy and military policy. Is to get the best qualified people that's the basis of everything I did. In personnel now with respect transgender right all I'd said that if transgender members were to be accessed to the US military. They had to be stable in their new gender that's what I announced at the time for eighteen months before we would take them. Because we weren't come out. Us take the readiness. And cost implications. Of this which is the medical point I think that was being referred to. Your book he is still quite a sweeping and detailed look at what it takes to run. A mammoth. Organization in fact very early in the book you talk about the number of people that you had reporting to you. As secretary said that the Defense Department employs more people than Amazon McDonald's FedEx target in GE. Combined buying half the federal budget was under your control what was the secret to being successful leader that. The Defense Department thrives on clarity. And consists C need to be very clear and I always choose my words very carefully I'd write my own statements and we were doing something new. So that everything was just right the other thing is to meet people and their field families feel good about what they're doing so I went on talk to troops. I would always do two things one was to tell them their mission and how important it was strategically but the other one was to say you were doing the most noble thing. The young person can do. If your life. Our thanks again to ash Carter for that conversation finally today here on TV are we like to shine a spotlight on issues of huge consequence. That offer received little attention today we're taking a closer look at what advocates call a global crisis of land mines millions of them are still on the ground hundreds of thousands of people are maimed or injured each year all around the globe. Many of them in Africa this had been on the decline. A but until now they are on the rise again particularly in Yemen with the concentrations. Of land mines. Have now reached World War II concentrations one American victim of landmines. Ken Rutherford has dedicated his life to raising awareness about them he partnered with Princess Diana before her death. And he's still at it today. People and let's continue to remain until long after wars have to wait for president deadly legacy to these wellness. During eternally vigilant. And her victim activated. So really thousands turned war and peace treaties are signed soldiers go home. And it landmines are still lined out there is civilians come back and are. Arms your work right now actually focuses on one country of particular Yemen. Lot of Americans may not be familiar with it but groups like yours are saying that that there is the highest concentration. Of land mines in Yemen. Been at any point since World War II. Yes so there's a lot of landmines being used Yemen. Right now sister Jane you we'd been around for about over twenty years we've never seen this much land mine infestations such a short period of time. Other groups are you zine. Anti personnel mines. Through converting anti tank mines anti personnel minds. And her deployed booby traps thrown water resources and retreat routes how do you get more. Awareness about landmines and what what do you actually want. The US congress to do. About 26 years ago also working a couple hundred miles away from Yemen and how senator diesel land mines Somalia were I into losing both my Atlantic's. To a land mine and I had agreed medical care be another kid awesome vocational training god peachy. All through. Our country my wife that medical establishment. God. That doesn't mean beneath my weeds not like to see this saying for those victims and yet and you work. Closely with Princess Diana. Not back at that time factors and some images of course from her advocates see. In that country and around the world to cut back and eliminate the use of landmines do you look back on her her work on land mines and steel legacy there it's still lasting. That was an amazing even experienced working with the princess and Bosnia and fortunately she passed a couple weeks after that visit. But what she did is she highlight despite a Landmine victims so early to wait my victims back again. Brought up a ton to two world in terms of international language assisted by her majesty princes Diana. Mark thanks again to Ken Rutherford as he makes calls on congress today he'll be joined by. What are the ambassadors of the country's most valuable resource is in the fight against land mines and mine detecting dogs. The Marshall legacy institute brought one of those stocks here to the briefing him yesterday in partnership with dozens of American school kids in support from the Department of State. Idea institute has trained and deployed hundreds of these dogs oversees ten year old German shepherd Yankee. Came here to show us how she does it. Tell us about EAQ. It is what does she do JC special dog you know she's ten years old war on eleven and believe it or not she spent seven years in Sri Lanka she did release a veteran again weekly senator Lowell conga line. To sniff out land mines to save and improve the lives featured on she's she is definitely are snatching an event the job. She helped search millions of square meters of land so that it's safe for the people the land mine sniffing dogs typically operates not on a short leash like I have now on a long ten meter wage. And they end August ever go to it and there is suspected of mine contamination. Hannah doesn't go into the suspected area but the game does that they work very closely together and the handlers always tethered to the dog on the ten meter Leach usage you have you have dozens of them around the world 250 given her lips of the American people there who countries where landmines and half a big problem yes what do they are looking for how did they thought how big is a land mine would you like to see one of those. I just happen to have one parent I had letters guy around is that a lot of this is not a crime I would not be here on the streets of Washington DC with a libel but it's the real should bangui take in the explosive voter out out to be these budget plastic devices blasting the pressured the year yes it's pat state this is the plunger and it looked at for the explosives that's and one of these. One of these insidious killers only they're typically buried so if you show us how how a Yankee works Yankee thing you show us Highsmith staffer minds are I'd love to. All right let go. All right so. You present I think there savage though the ire okay. And then the next front of them there and the next time when there and then the last. And I and then there's airlines and again weekly said we're not want to put out to mind here that this witness inert body gives you the idea. What we have here. We got some last summer from a shotgun shell. And there's enough common characteristics in this particular sound similar to those of who have found community and these actual land mine and that's what she strain and that's what she's careful she cares of the explosive centers there. That's what she's alerting to. That's why she's so valuable that's why she could find mines that the best metal detectors in the world have a hard time finding. Charter thanks again anti Yankee and two handler president Kerry Baltimore of the Marshall. Legacy institute for coming by. We're joined live now by one of the students who have sponsored dogs through the Marshall. Legacies is his program Healy hires from Connecticut. Joins us great to see Haley you would. Actually adopted a dog helped raise money to fund one of these kids when you're grand Shaq country day school tell us about how you got involved in. What you learned in the process. Well my whole family had been involved where it stands for Marshall and the institute for years. And Atlanta actually help raise money for multiple dog and I really involved with that it. During my time at the Greenwich country day school and one of the event greed Meehan my cousin to raise money through. Track lions and big sales lemonade stands and we would make. Late little bracelet and an accessory it's with the chancellor bought and help Latin. And we raise enough money tune up train Rachel though Landmine detection dog and sent her to bar yeah. We're lucky. And we're. That's fantastic received pictures here out of Rachel overseas that psyche or you were there as well you got your brother and sister involved in the program to. Yes well my siblings are involved and might hurt them are new and more organization it's really made a big impact on our family and your loved to be involved with an end to work to health. Her land mine Craig that's worldwide. What what do you say to your classmates to Americans young people your age who. AQ is it would see the Landmine crisis is being so far away young men in blue too many people seems like a distant conflict the United States is not directly. Involved there. What have you learned in going through this process that convinced you that land mines are really such a horrible thing that need to be addressed. Well when I went Sierra bought the and I have the experience. To you see Rachel on accident. And could see the critics that the land mines we actually visited one of the schools and we met with the school children. And it was just so. Terrible to see how affected they Wear and east where children are inaccurate billion. We'll have to grow up living in these countries that are expected Herman remnants of war and there are still wars going on around the world and without the help of people are all America angles. He Burger King yeah you did these children have to grow up their whole lives are being lit landmines. Right here it is schools and parks and a lot of really acceptable places. Yet you are terrific effort that you undertook in that your dear your classmates and their Turkey your brother and sister and a lot of students we understand dozens. Schools around the country have been sponsoring docks were quick before we go where's Rachel now is is is the dot still over in Bosnia. Yes she added that believed currency is still barking out working without land mine. And I can't see clear got to land civil police are clear more and hopefully people it is all can help re Smart money from mark. Arm and saved a lot of lives for sure Haley hires I salute to you from us here at the briefing room thanks so much in a salute all the jobs out there as well Yankee rates on all the others. With the Marshall legacy institute that's all today here in a briefing room we're here every day 3:30 PM eastern time. We played at 53630. Confine us and the ABC news Apple's roku Hulu all the places. You can watch ABC news live on Devin Dwyer Washington hoped to see here tomorrow.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.