Outgoing WH press secretary Psaki congratulates replacement Karine Jean-Pierre

During the White House press briefing on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki, who is stepping down from her role, congratulated her replacement Karine Jean-Pierre, who will be the first Black and openly gay person to hold the position.

Video transcript

JEN PSAKI: I just want to start by-- I'm gonna cry. [CHUCKLES] OK. Woo. I want to talk about my friend. Karine, you've got to come up here. So, um, ugh, I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friend, my colleague, my partner in truth, Karine Jean-Pierre, the next White House press secretary.

Now, many people in this room have known her for some time. But for anyone who does not know her, I want to provide a little bit of a primer for you. So, settle in. First, as you all know, she will be the first Black woman, the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve in this role, which is amazing because representation matters.

And she is going to-- she will give a voice to so many and allow-- and show so many what is truly possible when you work hard and dream big. And that matters. And we should not-- we should celebrate that.

But I also want to make clear what all of her qualifications are, what a remarkable person is. She got her start in New York City politics. She comes to this job with decades of experience, even though she looks very young--

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: [LAUGHS]

JEN PSAKI: --we're both in her 20s--

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: That's right.

JEN PSAKI: --having served in communications and political roles on many campaigns in the Obama-Biden administration and for both of former President Obama's campaigns. She's a long-time advisor to President Biden and Dr. Biden. They are partners, having served in senior roles for him and for both of them, back to when he was vice president. And she's worked for a number of advocacy organizations, fighting for issues and justice for so many Americans.

And I just want to say I will have a lot to say about how grateful I am for the trust the president, and the first lady, and the whole team have given me and entrusted me, in the last 15 months. But this day is about Karine. And I want to celebrate her. And on a personal note, I want to say that one of the first conversations we had, when we both found out--

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. [LAUGHS]

JEN PSAKI: --we were getting these jobs, was about how we wanted to build a drama-free, on your best days, place, workplace where everybody worked hard, where we, on our best days, were rebuilding trust with the public. And I'm just so grateful to have had Karine by my side for this, over the last 15 months. And I just can't wait to see her shine at the podium.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, sure.

JEN PSAKI: Congratulations. And I can't wait to see you bring your own style and brilliance to this job.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Thank you. I love you, Jen.

JEN PSAKI: Yeah.

[APPLAUSE]

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