Politics - News Analysis

A Reminder on Psaki’s Last Day That She Did More Briefings Than All of Trump’s Press Sec’s COMBINED

Jen Psaki, President Biden’s current Press Secretary, leaves her job on Friday. During a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, she looked back at her 15 months on the job.

In that time, she’s held 224 press briefings, and Friday will mark her 225th. That’s more than Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, and Kayleigh McEnany held, combined. The four, COUNT THEM 4, Trump press secretaries did a total of 205 briefings during Trump’s entire presidency.

The curve is slightly thrown off by Grisham, who held none. Your humble author happened to graduate with Grisham at the same high school and was not surprised, especially after Grisham’s multiple DUI charges.

Jen Psaki’s first press briefing made no mention on inauguration crowd size. What a relief. No lies either!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get any lasting gems from Psaki. At least, nothing like Sean Spicer’s insistence that Trump’s inauguration was the most attended ever, “period.” Nothing like Sanders getting kicked out of a restaurant for being a notorious liar. Nothing like McEnany claiming that the tear gas and rubber bullets everyone saw used on protesters didn’t exist.

Mostly what we got from Jen Psaki was a little light sarcasm and a bunch of spin-free press briefings.

Psaki went on in the interview to tell reporters that some of it had been frightening. Unlike her predecessors, she sometimes got death threats, and some of those with her children’s names on them:

The thing that has been hardest personally is I have had threats. I have had nasty letters, texts to me with my personal address, the names of my children. It crosses lines, you know, and that’s when it becomes a little scary.

Psaki’s replacement will be Karine Jean-Pierre, the first black person, and first openly gay person to serve as Press Secretary.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki introduces incoming press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing at the White House, Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It’s hard to follow in the footsteps of someone as forthcoming and intelligent as Jen Psaki, but we have no doubt that Jean-Pierre will be able to fill those shoes.

Let’s hope we never have to go back to the days of waiting for the president to do a rally to get the news out of the White House.

meet the author

Nicole Hickman is a lifelong Democrat and political activist who first cut her teeth as a teenager volunteering for Mike Dukakis’ presidential campaign. She has worked and volunteered for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, HFA (Hillary For America) and Organizing For Action. She’s passionate about liberal and progressive causes, and considers President Obama her most favorite president ever. She holds her Bachelor’s from Boston College and her Master’s from Columbia University, both in Economics. When not working as a writer, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her three college-aged children.

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