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Jen Psaki conducts a press conference following the announcement.

September 12, 20223 Mins Read
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Jen Psaki conducts a press conference following the announcement. Karine Jean-Pierre will be the next press secretary for the White House.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden revealed that White House press secretary Jen Psaki would leave the office on May 13 and will be succeeded by her deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre.

“Karine not only has the expertise, talent, and integrity required for this challenging position, but she will also continue to set the standard for talking about the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts on behalf of the American people.” “Jill and I have long known and appreciated Karine, and she will be a powerful voice advocating for me and this Administration,” Obama said in a White House statement.

“Jen Psaki has set the bar for the White House Briefing Room’s return to decency, respect, and decorum. Thank you, Jen, for elevating the standard, connecting honestly and truthfully with the American people while maintaining her sense of humour. I appreciate Jen’s contribution to the country and wish her the best in her future endeavours.”

Jean-Pierre is a historic pick for the post, as the first Black and openly homosexual press secretary in the position’s history. She had been considered as Psaki’s potential replacement for months, having served as the press secretary’s number two during the administration’s first year.

Biden announced her appointment on Thursday afternoon, summoning her to the Oval Office about 2:30 p.m. According to a source acquainted with the situation, the two had a chat in which he offered her the job, which she accepted. Later that afternoon, Psaki and Jean-Pierre had a news conference in the press secretary’s office to inform the rest of the team, after which workers toasted them with two bottles of warm champagne and styrofoam White House cups.
Jean-Pierre is stepping into big shoes. Members of the White House press corps see Psaki as a level-headed spokesman with an aptitude for discussing complex policy matters.

She took the post with the goal of restoring White House credibility with the press corps after years of adversarial relations with the press under the Trump administration. She also reinstated daily White House press briefings, which had all but vanished during the previous administration’s second half.

For months, Psaki’s exit from the White House had been predicted. During an interview with former Obama administration official David Axelrod for the CNN podcast “The Axe Files” in May 2021, she hinted at her ambitions.

“I believe it will be time for someone else to take over this role in a year or approximately a year,” she stated at the time.

Members of the president’s team persuaded Psaki to remain on amid a succession of overlapping crises, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron strain.

However, some of her focus seemed to waver, and she was questioned about her choice to negotiate with MSNBC while still working for the White House, which Psaki defended by claiming she was working with the White House counsel’s office to ensure she didn’t breach any ethical guidelines.

Psaki is the latest White House communications official to leave for a job at a broadcast or cable network. This weekend, Symone Sanders, the press secretary for Vice President Kamala Harris, will debut her own show on MSNBC.

Fox News acted as a farm team for the press office and a landing pad for former officials under the previous administration. Kayleigh McEnany hosts the daily roundtable discussion Outnumbered on Fox News.

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