Jen Psaki admitted she was struggling to fight back tears as she introduced her ‘partner in truth’ Karine Jean-Pierre as President Joe Biden’s new press secretary.
Psaki will be stepping down on May 13 and it is reported she will be joining left-wing television network MSNBC, though she never confirmed the new gig when asked about it in the past.
‘I’m going to cry’, an emotional Psaki said at the start of her briefing on Thursday as she brought her successor up to the podium and hugged her.
‘I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friend, my colleague, my partner in truth Karine Jean-Pierre, the next White House Press Secretary,’ Psaki said.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy then said he will miss his favorite sparring partner Psaki in the briefing room. She dryly responded by saying: ‘Will you?’
She refused to comment on her future amid speculation she will likely head to MSNBC, and said she is only looking forward to ‘sleeping’ and ‘reading books’. She then asked reporters for Netflix suggestions.
Jean-Pierre, 44, will be the first black female White House press secretary and first openly LGBTQ+ person in the role, Psaki said in a tweet celebrating her successor.
‘Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people,’ Biden said in a statement.
Biden said he and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden ‘have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration.’
He went on to praise Psaki’ for ‘returning decency’ to the White House briefing room in what appears to be a veiled jab at the Trump administration’s more combative relationship with the press.
‘Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room,’ Biden said. ‘I want to say thank you to Jen for raising the bar, communicating directly and truthfully to the American people, and keeping her sense of humor while doing so.’
‘I thank Jen for her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward.’
The Columbia University grad was born in Martinique, and served as chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris on the Biden campaign.
Jean-Pierre also worked in the Obama administration as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs, and on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Before joining Biden’s presidential bid she was an MSNBC and NBC political analyst and held roles at MoveON.org and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The veteran communications officer lives with her partner, CNN journalist Suzanne Malveaux, and their one child.
Psaki lauded Jean-Pierre’s historic appointment in a statement on Twitter.
‘She will be the first black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary. Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible,’ the outgoing press secretary said.
Psaki said Jean-Pierre has ‘decades of experience from her early years working in government and politics in NYC, to her years as an outspoken advocate, to serving as a long-time advisor to [Biden] back when he was the VP.’
‘She is passionate. She is smart and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague, but an amazing Mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor,’ Psaki praised.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – By ELIZABETH ELKIND