What happened to Jen Psaki and did Karine Jean-Pierre replace her?

Molly Young October 22, 2021
What happened to Jen Psaki and did Karine Jean-Pierre replace her?
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was absent from the daily briefing on 21 October and replaced by deputy Karine Jean-Pierre. So what happened to Jen Psaki?

Viewers were left wondering whether her absence, along with rumours she planned to step down, meant Psaki had left her role. Here’s why people continued to speculate.

What happened to Jen Psaki at yesterday’s briefing?

Jen Psaki is a US political advisor serving as the 34th and current White House press secretary.

With a primary responsibility to act as spokeswoman for the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, Psaki usually holds daily briefings to interact with the media and the White House press corps.

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However, she was absent from yesterday’s briefing (21 October) and was replaced by White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Psaki has yet to reveal the reason for her absence, sparking speculation about her position.

However, @jenpsaki1 is still listed as White House press secretary in her Instagram and Twitter bios, indicating it’s likely she’s still in her position.

Was she replaced by Karine Jean-Pierre?

As deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre stood in for the daily briefing to address progress on unemployment claims.

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Jean-Pierre is an American political campaign organiser, activist, political commentator and author, who has been deputy press secretary since January 2021.

She is 44 years old and mother to a seven-year-old child.

@KJP46‘s Twitter profile still states her position as deputy, also implying Psaki has not been replaced permanently.

As further proof, TV network C-SPAN shared its online listings for 22 October showing Jen Psaki as holding a press briefing at 1.30 pm.

Update on Psaki’s rumoured resignation

In May 2021, Jen Psaki spoke of plans to step down as White House press secretary in about a year’s time, according to reports by The Independent.

Psaki reiterated this had always been her plan and told Don Lemon on CNN Tonight that, as a working mother of two young children, she didn’t want to “miss a lot of moments”.

Jen Psaki made it clear that, when she feels it’s time to leave, she will leave.

On Twitter, @ChadGilmartinCA repeated this information saying Psaki had clarified her position in a recent podcast interview.

Another user named @MrStacyMartin predicted Psaki would step down before President Biden’s first term was finished.

Despite speculation suggesting otherwise, Psaki seems set to continue her press secretary role into 2022.

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Molly Young is a Journalism with Public Relations student at Leeds Beckett University. Boasting a creative background through her studies and on her personal social media channels, Molly loves creating content and providing entertainment analysis through her writing.