White House Press Secretary Stepping Down Next Year
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will be leaving her post sometime in 2022, she revealed on Thursday’s edition of David Axelrod’s The Axe Files podcast.
Psaki has quickly become a darling of progressives with her quick-witted “Psaki bombs” as well as her ability to respectfully shut down right-wing reporters who routinely troll her press conferences.
These traits are shared by her boss, President Joe Biden, whom she praised for “always looking to tell the story” while “always pushing and testing whether we’re speaking about things in an accessible way.”
CNN noted some of the highlights from Psaki’s wide-ranging conversation with Axelrod:
- Psaki defends Biden’s accessibility to the press corps while saying, of the times he spontaneously fields questions, “that is not something we recommend.” She says, ‘In fact, a lot of times we say ‘Don’t take questions,’ you know, but he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president.’
- Psaki says, bluntly, ‘We’re never going to satisfy the White House press corps and their desires for access. And I think there have been mistakes made in the past of trying to do that.’
- Another candid comment: ‘We’re often asked, ‘Why doesn’t he go to the border?’ Important issue. We’re focused on it. What percentage of the public is focused on the border? A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy. So that may be maddening, but, you know, that’s what we try to do.’
- On the transition from the Trump White House to the Biden White House: ‘We’re kind of still in recovery from the ‘Game of Thrones’ period of our history here that, you know, some of some of what I think the job is in this moment — and this won’t always be and certainly hasn’t been historically — is kind of reaffirming and restating like what the role of government is, right? And what the role of agencies are and what the role of policy processes are and how a bill becomes a law.’
- On the 2021 news cycle: It’s ‘so fast that even what’s in the print newspaper is rarely going to be what we’re going to talk about at the briefing that day.’
- On her tenure: Psaki makes clear that she loves the challenge and the responsibility, but she says she talked with the Biden transition team about a roughly one-year term. ‘I think it’s going to be time for somebody else to have this job, in a year from now or about a year from now,’ she says.