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President Biden announced on Thursday that White House press secretary Jen Psaki would officially be replaced with principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre after May 13. Psaki has served as press secretary to Biden since the beginning of his administration and is reportedly set to join MSNBC in the coming months.
With pehernding departure from the White House, here are some of the more notable moments from Psaki’s time behind the podium.
Associated Press reporter ended press briefing early
Tensions in the briefing room boiled over in March of this year after Associated Press correspondent Josh Boak appeared to end the press conference early for Psaki. New York Post reporter Steven Nelson led a lengthy discussion of reporters criticizing Boak for limiting Psaki’s access to the press.
“An open question: What is the utility of empowering a wire service to call an end to a White House briefing? Is it for the benefit of the @PressSec? Or for a few reporters in the front row? Or the entire press corps?” RealClearNews White House reporter Philip Wegman tweeted at the time.
During the briefing, Psaki was asked about President Biden’s plan to combat rising gas prices in light of Russia’s war with Ukraine. At the time, the White House did not commit to banning oil imports from Russia and refused to devote more efforts to domestic drilling.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a daily press conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the briefing Psaki took questions on the war in Ukraine and gas prices. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Psaki claimed Biden inherited ‘no real plan’ for vaccine rollout
Despite Dr. Anthony Fauci stating that Biden was not “starting from scratch” on a vaccine distribution plan when he came into office, Psaki continued to claim otherwise over a year later.
“When we came into this administration, I would remind you, it’s now a long time ago, there was no real plan,” Psaki said in March 2022. “We were left no plan by our predecessors.”
This statement was made as the BA.2 omicron COVID-19 sub-variant began spreading through New York City. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients also announced his resignation prior to the conference.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki listen during a press briefing at the White House September 2, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)
Psaki joked about supply chain issues
By late 2021, inflation and supply chain issues became top economic concerns for Americans despite prior claims from the Biden administration that inflation would be “transitory.” In October 2021, Psaki made light of these concerns by claiming it amounted to waiting longer for a treadmill delivery.
“The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed,” Psaki quipped.
This came after White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted that supply chain concerns were “high class problems.” Psaki previously defended Klain’s tweet in an earlier press briefing.
A sign is seen on the shelf at a CVS store in Queens, New York. (Lindsey Nicholson/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Psaki refused to comment on previous claim that the Hunter Biden’s laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation’
In Oct. 2020, prior to Biden’s election, Psaki wrote on Twitter that the Hunter Biden story laptop story published by the New York Post was “Russian disinformation.” While many reporters and pundits echoed her claim, the story was later confirmed to be true by mulitiple media outlets, including the New York Times earlier this year.
When asked during a White House press briefing, Psaki refused to comment on the New York Times’ confirmation or her original claim that the story was “disinformation.”
“I’d point you to the Department of Justice and also to Hunter Biden’s representatives,” Psaki said. “He doesn’t work in government.”
Psaki condemns now-debunked Border Patrol images
Psaki was one of many Democrat figures, including her boss President Biden, who wholeheartedly denounced photos of Border Patrol agents allegedly whipping migrants in September 2021.
“We understand and agree that this has been an incredibly heart-wrenching issue,” Psaki responded. “We’ve watched the photos of Haitians gathering under a bridge, many with families, and the horrific video of the CBP officers on horses using brutal and inappropriate measures against innocent people.”
However, after a six-month investigation, the agents were later found cleared of wrongdoing. When asked if she would apologize for her comments, Psaki instead stated she would wait to see how the Department of Homeland Security investigation “would play out.”
United States Border Patrol agents on horseback tries to stop Haitian migrants from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande. ((Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images))