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White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer Resigns - 2003-05-19

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer has resigned. He plans to leave the Bush administration sometime in the next few months.

Mr. Fleischer said it has been a privilege to serve the president. But he said he has decided it is time to go.

The White House spokesman stresses personal considerations drove his decision to resign. He said he wants to spend more time with his new wife, relax a bit, and eventually go to work in the private sector.

Mr. Fleischer was the spokesman for the Bush election campaign, and moved into the same job at the White House. He called it an arduous position at a momentous time, starting with an election decided by the Supreme Court, followed by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq.

He acknowledges that 24-hour media coverage has added to the strains of his job. But Ari Fleischer makes clear he has no regrets, has loved working at the White House and looks forward to the future.

He says he believes strongly in the president and his policies, and will do what he can to help his bid for re-election.