Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump’s former White House press secretary turned Republican candidate for governor of Arkansas, said Friday that she is “cancer free” after undergoing thyroid cancer surgery.
IN statementSanders, 42, said the cancer was discovered during a checkup this month.
“Today I had a successful operation to remove my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes and by the grace of God, I am now cancer free,” she said. “I want to thank the doctors and nurses of Arkansas for their superb care, and my family and friends for their love, prayers and support. I look forward to returning to the campaign soon.”
Sanders added, “This experience was a reminder that no matter what battles you face, don’t give up. As governor, I will never stop fighting for the people of our great state.”
In May of this year, Sanders cruised to victory in the Republican primary in Arkansas to succeed Asa Hutchinson, a relative moderate in Trump’s GOP, as governor next year.
He will face Democrat Chris Jones in November. All the major polling and forecasting sites rate Arkansas “solid Republican.”
Sanders’ father, Mike Huckabee, was governor of Arkansas and twice ran from the Christian right for the Republican presidential nomination.
His daughter became Donald Trump’s second White House press secretary following the resignation of Sean Spicer, a party operative who endured an ill-fated spell in the role.
Under Sanders, White House press briefings were combative at first, then scaled back as Trump sought to sidestep what he saw as hostile media coverage.
As the Guardian put it when Sanders left the White House in 2019, as press secretary she “provided stability after Spicer’s string of wayward gaffes and, unlike other Trump officials, stayed at his mercy with unwavering, often ostentatious displays of loyalty. “
Earlier that year, she told the Christian TV network CBN that God “wanted Donald Trump to be president.”
Sanders appeared in Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the election and ties between Trump and Moscow. The special counsel has shown that her claim that “the FBI has lost confidence in its director,” James Comey, is a lie.
As reported by Mueller, Sanders called the remark a “slip” made “in the heat of the moment” and “baseless.”
After leaving the Trump job, Sanders set his sights on Arkansas politics, publishing a typically loyal memoir, Speaking for Myself, in September 2020.
Among other anecdotes about her time working for Trump, the book revealed a strange, potentially embarrassing story. In one such passage, Sanders said Trump made a joke about her “so[ing] one for the team” when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un apparently liked her during the summit talks.