- The Washington Times
Friday, April 1, 2022

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday refused to confirm reports that she is leaving her job to work for left-leaning news outlet MSNBC.

“I have nothing to confirm about my length of public service or planned service or anything about consideration about next plans. I’m very happy to be standing with all of you here today,” Ms. Psaki told reporters at the daily White House press briefing.

“My focus every day continues to be speaking on behalf of the president and answering your questions, as tough as they may be,” she said.

Reports surfaced that Ms. Psaki, who has been press secretary since President Biden took office in January 2021, will depart in May, which was first reported by Axios.

Ms. Psaki’s search for a new on-camera job at news outlets had been widely reported. She reportedly had meetings with MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS.

When pressed on whether it was ethical to continue in her current role while negotiating with some of the outlets with seats in the briefing room, Ms. Psaki insisted everything was above board.

“I have always gone over and above the stringent ethical and legal requirements of the Biden administration and I take that very seriously,” she said. “And as standard for every employee of the White House, I have received rigorous ethics counseling including as it relates to any future employment. I’ve complied with all ethics requirements and recused myself from decisions as appropriate.”

She said under administration policy, anyone who is having conversations about future employment must consult with the White House Counsel’s Office.

The rumors of Ms. Psaki’s departure swirled as she returned to the briefing room after being out most of the week because she tested positive for COVID-19.

White House communications chief Kate Bedingfield conducted most of the briefings this week and has earned high marks from reporters. Her appearance at the podium was viewed by many as an audition to replace Ms. Psaki.

Republicans laughed off Ms. Psaki’s move to the left-leaning news network.

“At least she‘ll still be working for the White House,” joked Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.

If she departs, Ms. Psaki would be the second White House communications official to bolt for MSNBC. Symone Sanders, the former spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, joined the network in January as the host of a weekend program.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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