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McClellan resigns as White House press secretary

Written by: Staff

WASHINGTON, Apr 19 (Reuters) White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation today as part of a shake-up of President George W Bush's senior aides.

''I have given it my all, sir,'' Mr McClellan told Mr Bush outside the White House before a group of reporters. He said he would stay on over the next two or three weeks to allow time for a transition to his successor, who has not yet been named.

Mr McClellan, who has been in the job more than 2-1/2 years, has been one of the most visible faces of the Mr Bush administration and replacing him will give the president the chance to put a fresh face on his White House.

New White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, who started work at the weekend, has begun a staff shake-up to try to help Mr Bush rebound from sagging poll numbers and bolster American confidence in his leadership.

''Change can be helpful,'' Mr McClellan said. He said he was ready to move on and suggested he would end up back in his home state of Texas before Mr Bush gets there at the end of his term.

''I don't know whether or not the press corps realizes it, but his is a challenging assignment dealing with you all on a regular basis. And I thought he handled his assignment with class and integrity,'' Mr Bush said.

He added: ''It's going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he's made the decision, and I accept it.'' REUTERS SI RN2008

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