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Jen Psaki Reveals She Plans to Step Down as Biden Press Secretary Next Year

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is on the way out.

During an interview with longtime Democratic operative David Axelrod on his CNN podcast, “The Axe Files,” Psaki said she plans to step down either later this year or early next year.

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“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,” Psaki said.

Other takeaways from the podcast, summarized by CNN:

— 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.”

Here are a few of her other comments and observations:

— On the Covid-era restrictions on attendance in the briefing room: “It’s our hope to get back that up to about 50 percent or so sometime in the next few weeks, now that so many of our press corps is getting vaccinated,” she said.

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— On media fragmentation: “Our job is to get information out to the public,” Psaki said. “The media is a means of doing that. It’s not the only means of doing that.”

— On this White House’s tweeting strategy: “The big audience of Twitter for us is the media… You’re actually speaking to the media through Twitter. You’re not trying to go around them. Because a lot of reporters are on Twitter.”

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