On Friday, on her final day as White House chief spokesman, an emotional Jen Psaki thanked President Biden and the media, saying she was trying to show “integrity and grace” from the podium.
“I promise myself I’m not going to get emotional. Phew,” she said, her voice hoarse.
Ms. Psaki said her press team rejected claims that Washington was corrupt or “rotten” and praised her successor, Carin Jean-Pierre, and the gathered media. Jokes aside, she’ll apologize if she gets her “Irish side” too much in the daily back-and-forth in the briefing room.
“Thank you for the work you do every day to make this country stronger,” she told reporters.
Ms. Psaki made her final round on the podium with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Detroit Police Chief James White on crime and commented on baby formula shortages, unrest in the Middle East and other topics of the day.
Ms. Psaki has served as press secretary starting with Mr. Biden’s term in January 2021. Liberals have praised her for taking a firm footing on the podium, conflating it with a Fox News reporter, and dropping the firm answer known in Twitter terms as a “Psaki bomb.”
The RNC wished Ms. Psaki the relief after “promising to go back a year and leave more questions than answers.”
The White House has not said where Ms. Psaki is going, but her departure has been widely expected for months. It was reported last month that she was heading to MSNBC, where she could land her own TV show.
“Maybe Joe Biden’s first news interview in more than 90 days will be on MSNBC with Jen,” said RNC press secretary Emma Vaughan.
Mr. Biden said this month that Ms. Psaki “set the standard for returning the White House briefing room to decency, respect and etiquette.”
She will pass the baton to Ms. Jean-Pierre, 44, who has served as one of Ms. Psaki’s top deputies since the Biden administration took office last year.
Ms. Jean-Pierre will be the first black and openly LGBTQ person to hold the White House press secretary position. She lives with longtime CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux and their adopted daughter.
Ms. Psaki received high marks in the briefing room from some reporters who believed she was trying to rebuild the relationship between the White House and reporters after the Trump administration stopped holding daily news briefings.
But other reporters slammed her for rarely visiting reporters sitting in the front three rows of the briefing room, where traditional media are located.