WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — White House press secretary Jay Carney is leaving his post and his No. 2 is taking over.

President Barack Obama announced Carney’s departure in a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room Friday. He said principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest will take over the job.

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Obama called Carney one of his closest friends and a great press secretary and said he will continue to rely on him as an outside adviser.

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“This is not my last briefing and I will probably have a few more polished things to say at some point before I go but off the cuff I just want to thank the president, the vice president,” Carney said.

The president said Carney plans to take the summer off before getting a new job.

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