Jen Psaki stood before reporters in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Friday as the White House Press Secretary, thanking those gathered for making the country a better place through their journalism.
“I want to thank you all in this room. You challenged me, you pushed me, you debated me and sometimes we disagreed,” Psaki said in tears from the podium. “This is democracy in action. That’s how it works. Without accountability, without debate, the government is not as strong, and you all play an incredibly central role.
“Thank you for what you do. Thank you for making me better,” she added. “And above all, thank you for the work you do every day to make this country stronger. And I am so grateful to you. all too »
It was a similar message to one she shared on her first day on the job, when she told reporters at the Biden administration’s first press briefing that she had “deep respect for the role d’une presse libre et indépendante dans notre démocratie”.
“There will be times when we disagree, and there will definitely be days when we disagree on long parts of the briefing, maybe even, but we have a common goal, which is to share accurate information with the American people,” Psaki said. declared on January 20, 2021.
The 43-year-old mother of two was known throughout her tenure for her so-called “Psaki-Bombs,” the fiery jokes fired at White House Press Corps reporters. His briefings were professional and generally sympathetic, but could quickly become sharp. The sessions were informative but generally lacked the drama to attract large ratings on cable television.
PSAKI has answered reporters’ questions almost every day of the week for the nearly 500 days that Biden has been in office. As a top communicator in the White House, she is perhaps the most public face of the administration after only President and Vice President Kamala Harris. His departure could complicate the broadcast of Biden’s message at a critical time for him, at least in the short term.
On Friday, Psaki also thanked President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for condemning him for the superior communications role in the White House, saying they all agreed on “the importance of returning integrity, respect and civility in the White House ”.
PSAKI hasn’t denied reports that she’s headed to MSNBC, where on-air personalities are mostly sympathetic to Biden. Such a movement will not do much to modify the perceptions of Psaki on the left or right. Democrats see her as a champion of their causes; The Conservatives say that it is on standby.
In a farewell message posted on White House social media accounts, Psaki shared the two things she would like to take home with her when her term as Biden’s press secretary comes to an end.
“These are index cards. They say ‘The White House’ at the top and I use them every day and I will miss them, but I might bring some home,” she shared. “The second item , I would say – I have a sweet tooth, just like the president. There are chocolate chip cookies. There’s also Delaware taffy, and there’s a big glass jar of it outside from the Oval Office. And I will say that sometimes you just need a little sweet treat. I will miss that when I leave the White House.
PSAKI’s successor is Karine Jean-Pierre, the first black woman and openly LGBTQ person to serve as White House press secretary. She takes over as the administration navigates inflation and Russia’s war with Ukraine, and the Democratic Party braces for November election losses that could wipe out its control of Congress.
“I can’t wait to see you bring your own style and brilliance to this work. … I love you. I promise not to cry anymore, so that’s it,” Psaki said of Jean-Pierre the week last, adding on Friday: “As I said about Karine last week, these people are already the stars of the team, but they are going to be shining stars in the future, and I will miss them very much. “
The White House said Jean-Pierre, who served as PSAKI’s chief deputy, will bring strong personal expertise and personality to the briefing room. She knows Biden well and is a longtime adviser.
Jean-Pierre was born in Martinique, French Caribbean territory, before settling in Queens Village in New York. She attended Kellenberg Memorial High School on Long Island before attending New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. After earning her master’s degree at Columbia, she worked on the presidential campaigns of John Edwards and Barack Obama before serving in the Obama administration.
She then worked for Biden’s successful 2020 presidential campaign before being recruited as senior deputy press secretary. In May last year, Jean-Pierre became the first openly gay person, and the first black woman in decades, to lead a press briefing at the White House.
“She’s been able to multi-task so much growing up and be successful in what she wants to do,” Jean-Pierre’s younger brother, Christopher Jean-Pierre, said of his work ethic. His brother in an interview with Spectrum News. “That’s why when she got the job, I was not only happy for her, but the government found a great person in the role.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.