Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who held more press briefings than all of Trump’s Press Secretaries combined, teared up during her last day meeting the press on Friday, thanking President Joe Biden for the opportunity to serve in the role. “I promised myself I wasn’t going to get emotional,” she said before she went on to show her appreciation to the press in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room room for their “pivotal role.”
Psaki is leaving the podium in the capable hands of her Deputy Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, to helm her own show at MSNBC. And on her last day in the Briefing Room, the press went out of their way to make it a memorable occasion, to say the least.
Psaki also thanked her staff, recalling that when she joined the White House, President Biden highlighted “the importance of returning integrity, respect and civility to the White House.” She allowed that it wasn’t always smooth sailing, saying, “That doesn’t mean that we haven’t let our Irish sides show, mine and the President’s as well from time to time,” Psaki said. “I recognize that. But on my best days and as I look back, I hope I followed the example of integrity and grace that (the Bidens) have set for all of us.”
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) May 13, 2022
“At times we have disagreed. That is democracy in action. That is it working. Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong,” Psaki said. “Thank you for what you do, thank you for making me better, and most importantly, thank you for the work every day you do to make this country stronger.”
— Tara Dublin 🇺🇦🌻 (@taradublinrocks) May 13, 2022
But Psaki’s final briefing wasn’t without drama, as one of her more contentious challengers, Simon Ateba, the chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa, began yelling from the back of the press briefing room. Ateba shouted over his colleagues and demanded to be heard until Psaki finally acknowledged him and said, “Simon, please stop.”
Simon really wants to get his question in pic.twitter.com/4e5hYbmf11
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 13, 2022
Psaki’s other infamous sparring partner, Peter Doocy from Fox News, went a little easier on Psaki for her last day on the job, tweeting a good-natured farewell and a picture of the two not fighting for a change.
— Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) May 13, 2022
Twitter also sent off Psaki in style, with some calling her “the best Press Secretary of all time.”
In honor of Jen Psaki's time at the White House, let's get this video of her dunking on Doocy past 1 million views! pic.twitter.com/OFqQUigMhu
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) May 5, 2022
— Donn Lovett (@donnlovett) May 13, 2022
Today is Jen Psaki's last official day as White House Press Secretary.
Thank you for bringing truth, respect, and honor back to press briefings! pic.twitter.com/l3ZNy6fBiF
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) May 13, 2022