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Psaki to depart White House as she hands baton to her deputy

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/5/2022 Naomi Lim
White House press secretary Jen Psaki will depart President Joe Biden's team on May 13 after months of speculation. © Evan Vucci/AP White House press secretary Jen Psaki will depart President Joe Biden's team on May 13 after months of speculation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki will depart President Joe Biden's team on May 13 after months of speculation.

Psaki's departure was announced in the White House's statement that her deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre, has been appointed to the position.

"I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friend, my colleague, my partner in truth Karine Jean-Pierre," an emotional Psaki said while clasping hands with her successor. The two women embraced.

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"She will be the first black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary," Psaki said of Jean-Pierre on Twitter. "Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible."

Jean-Pierre, in turn, praised Psaki as "a true, solid, amazing person." She said of the outgoing press secretary, "She has been just a wonderful colleague, a friend, a mentor over this past year and a half."

Psaki's next professional destination was not publicized on Thursday. "I have nothing to announce on my plans other than to sleep, read books," she said in response to a question about her future at the briefing. "I'll take recommendations for Netflix, Hulu. I am today, obviously, just celebrating Karine."

She had been needled on the ethics of remaining the White House's top spokeswoman amid rumors she was negotiating post-administration deals with TV networks, such as CNN and MSNBC. It was reported in March she was in final talks with MSNBC, including for her own show on Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming platform.

"I have always gone over and above the stringent ethical requirements of the Biden administration," Psaki said at the time. "So I hope that all of you, I've been working with all of you for some time, would judge me for my record and how I treat all of you both in the briefing room and otherwise."

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Psaki has teased her exit since last spring, confiding in an interview with David Axelrod, a fellow alum of former President Barack Obama's administration, that it would “be time for somebody else to have this job, in a year from now or about a year from now.” She hedged her own comment last summer, telling the Financial Times her timeline had "flexibility."

 

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Tags: News, Joe Biden, Biden Administration, White House, Jen Psaki, Karine Jean-Pierre, Washington D.C.

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Psaki to depart White House as she hands baton to her deputy

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