Not even a week into Karine Jean-Pierre’s tenure as White House press secretary, there’s already trouble in paradise.
After a rocky start behind the podium, President Joe Biden’s administration has brought in help — Pentagon counterpart John Kirby, a runner up for the press secretary role — to help in an unspecified role.
The move roiled the internal politics inside the White House because it seemed to undermine Jean-Pierre just days into her new job, Politico reported.
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“There are people in the White House who feel that the timing of Kirby’s hiring demonstrates that White House leadership believes that the first African American White House press secretary needs ‘adult supervision,’” one Democratic insider reportedly told West Wing Playbook.
The move was called “insulting” and “demeaning,” Politico wrote.
Meanwhile, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki has officially landed at MSNBC, where she is expected to make appearances on the network’s cable and streaming programs as well as host a new original show.
The program, set to debut in the first quarter of 2023, will “bring together her unique perspective from behind the podium and her deep experience in the highest levels of government and presidential politics,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.
Psaki, who was heavily criticized for negotiating a political talk show with NBC News while she was the acting press secretary, will also appear on NBC and during MSNBC’s primetime special election programming throughout the midterms and 2024 presidential election.
In a tweet, Psaki write that she was thrilled to join the network this fall. “Breaking down the facts and getting to the bottom of what’s driving the issues that matter most to people in this country has never been more important,” she wrote.
Psaki previously served as White House communications director under former President Barack Obama and as the spokeswoman for the Department of State.
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“Her extensive experience in government and on the campaign trail and perspective as a White House and Washington insider is the type of analysis that sets MSNBC apart,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said. “She’s a familiar face and trusted authority to MSNBC viewers, and we look forward to her insight during this consequential election season.”
At MSNBC, on-air personalities are generally very sympathetic to Biden and the Democrats. During Psaki’s White House tenure, Democrats saw her as a champion of their causes, while conservatives found her combative and standoffish.
That hasn’t translated into views for former Biden officials, however. For example, Symone Sanders, former chief spokeswoman for Vice President Kamala Harris, has struggled to attract viewers to her new MSNBC show.
Time will tell whether Psaki can make it on cable news.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article