Psaki lists her advice to successor Karine Jean-Pierre in final White House appearance

Outgoing White House press secretary became emotional as she says goodbye

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 14 May 2022 08:58 BST
Psaki fights back tears during final briefing as White House press secretary

Jen Psaki gave her successor as White House press secretary a few bits of advice as she gave her final briefing as a member of the Biden administration.

Ms Psaki grew emotional on her final day working in the White House before she is expected to start work as a host and analyst at MSNBC.

She will hand over the job to Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy press secretary, who will become the first Black and first openly gay person to hold the position.

And she warned her successor to avoid getting herself turned into “a meme with one line”.

“It can be repetitive in here from time to time, that’s not a critique, you are all doing your jobs. But, in the age of social media, always provide the context and all the details because you never want to be a meme with one line,” said Ms Psaki to her replacement, who was watching on.

“Otherwise be yourself. And Karine, as I said last week, is going to bring her own magic and brilliance, her style to this briefing room and always, for anyone who comes after me or Karine, is to continue to make it better, to do better for the president and the American people.”

The White House says that Friday’s briefing was the 224th one that Ms Psaki has handled over her 16-months in the job.

During her final one, she thanks Joe and Jill Biden and her White House colleagues for the support she had received.

“They are incredibly tough, smart, hardworking and deeply, deeply good human beings,” Ms Psaki said.

“People always ask me … whether Washington is rotten, whether everyone is corrupt here and nothing good happens and we all just argue with each other,” she said.

(Getty Images)

“I, having done this job, believe the absolute opposite is true.”

She also thanks White House press reporters for doing their work, something she said acted in supporting of the democratic process.

“You have challenged me, you have pushed me, you have debated me, and at times we have disagreed. That is democracy in action,” she said.

“Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong.”

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