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Psaki Defends Embattled New Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre After Posts Surface

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


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has spoken out about old tweets from incoming White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in which she claimed the 2016 presidential election and 2018 election for governor of Georgia were stolen.

“Stolen emails, stolen drone, stolen election …..welcome to the world of #unpresidented Trump,” she said in December 2016.

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“Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams,” she said in April 2020.

When speaking of the tweet on the election of Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia Psaki said to Mediate, “We all agree the 2018 election in Georgia is settled. And we’re also all concerned about voter suppression issues, including the President. Kemp won and she sees that tweet as having oversimplified the problem.”

And on the 2016 presidential election Psaki said, Jean-Pierre “has affirmed that Donald Trump won in 2016, too. Like so many of us, Karine was concerned about the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous finding that Russia intervened to help Trump. But he won.”

“Just like four years later Joe Biden won the most votes of anyone in American history,” she said. “She’s aligned with the President that people should admit who won regardless of preference.”

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But there was also the issue of the new press secretary in an old clip when she appeared on MSNBC calling Fox News, who she will now have to work with on a near daily basis, a “racist” organization.

It came on March 15, 2020 when Jean-Pierre appeared on the MSNBC show “AM Joy,” with host Joy Reid on a panel that included Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele as they were talking about Fox News’ coverage of what was then the new COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fox News was racist before #coronavirus, they are racist during coronavirus, and Fox News will be racist after the coronavirus,” she said on Twitter, sharing a clip of her appearance.

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During the interview she called the network “racist” and accused them of endangering the lives of Asian-Americans.

“[Fox News] was racist before coronavirus, they are racist during the coronavirus, Fox News will be racist after the coronavirus. So there is nothing new here. I think the difference is they are all-in on being state TV for Donald Trump, and so they will continue to give the misinformation,” she said.

“The danger is, so yes, you have Asian Americans right now whose lives are seriously in danger. And, you have their own viewers who can now, the ones who are 60 and older who are watching, this is a health crisis that we’re in, this is a global pandemic, as the WHO have said, and they’re putting their lives in dangers,” the incoming press secretary said.

“What they’re putting out there is going to hurt people, and not help them,” she said.

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Psaki again defended the new press secretary.

“This is a years-old clip of Karine, referring to an opinion host – not a reporter – when she was not in government and not speaking on behalf of the president,” she said.

“As she has shown at the White House many times already, including in the Briefing Room, she will continue to follow the guidance of the President in engaging with a range of reporters from a broad range of outlets, including Fox, even when there are different points of view,” she said.

Jean-Pierre’s first day on the job will be Monday, May 16.

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“I am proud to announce that Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as the next White House Press Secretary,” President Joe Biden said in announcing her for the job.

“Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people. Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration,” the president said.

“Jen Psaki has set the standard for returning decency, respect and decorum to the White House Briefing Room. I want to say thank you to Jen for raising the bar, communicating directly and truthfully to the American people, and keeping her sense of humor while doing so. I thank Jen her service to the country, and wish her the very best as she moves forward,” he said.

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