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Jen Psaki Opens Up About ‘Scary’ Part Of Being Press Secretary, Threats To Her Family

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed some startling details about things that happened to her after she became the White House press secretary for President Joe Biden.

Part of that job came with fans who wanted her autograph or to take pictures with her, but it also came with those who wanted to threaten and harass her, much like the press secretaries who came before her in the administration of former President Donald Trump.

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“Something that came up on the stage here recently was this notion that we don’t really have kind of these high profile political operatives anymore, like Karl Rove, like David Axelrod. Kellyanne. Kellyanne Conway, I would say in that category, kind of in the spotlight. And so in this dynamic that you’re describing, you’ve sort of kind of in some ways become the personification of the administration. And that’s, whether it was kind of like the ‘Yass Kween!’ aspect of it or, you know, all the other things we just described. Did that feel weird to you? Do you feel like that’s part of this culture shift? What was that like for you personally?” Jennifer Steinhauer asked.

“The briefing room is very small. And so when you are just doing that every day and you’re doing your job and you’re trying to do your job, you’re pretty closed off from kind of the external stuff, aside from Twitter. And I won’t focus on that,” the former press secretary said.

“And the first time that I was out in public and anyone recognized me for good, I had somebody who followed me around and was yelling shame at me at a baseball game. And my husband was very distressed by this. I was not. And then I also had people who wanted to take pictures. And it was very jarring because I had just been doing my job and had not been tracking that anyone would ever possibly know who I was. So that was jarring,” she said.

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The moderator asked Psaki if she ever had to report any of the threats to the Secret Service, to which Psaki responded in the affirmative.

“I’ve had to report a number of things to them over the course of time. Yes. Because you don’t know what’s accurate and what’s not accurate. And you, I have like no risk aversion. But my husband, who was fortunately has a higher level than I do. It becomes alarming when your kids’ names are out there, and your home address is out there, and you’re getting threatening mail to your house. You do have to be proactive about it,” she said.

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Psaki left the White House a few months ago and joined MSNBC, where she will host her own streaming show on the network in 2023.

“But the streaming program, which has yet to be named or have any staff, is still a long way off, and Psaki’s rollout plan will be drawn out. She’s set to make her debut as a full-time contributor on MSNBC this week and is likely to join Maddow’s actual replacement, ALEX WAGNER, as soon as tomorrow. Psaki is also expected to be slowly integrated into the network’s D.C.-based programs, including appearances on NBC’s Meet The Press, in the coming months,” Politico reported.

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“The former press secretary will have an office in the network’s Washington, D.C. bureau, joining other ex-Biden White House officials who are nabbing real estate there, including former KAMALA HARRIS press secretary SYMONE SANDERS. But Psaki will also head to New York’s 30 Rock this week for meetings and appearances,” the report added.

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