White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is leaving to join MSBNC in an unspecified role, according to sources close to the negotiations. The move came as a surprise to many White House insiders and may go into effect as soon as May 2022.
While the details of the deal have yet to be confirmed or made public, sources believe that Jen Psaki may host a show on MSNBC and their Peacock subscription streaming service by NBCUniversal. She may also make regular appearances as a guest on other MSNBC shows and NBC News.
According to sources who spoke with The New York Times, Jen Psaki is also in talks with CNN, who is actively pursuing bringing her on board. The MSNBC/NBCUniversal deal has yet to be finalized, and the White House Press Secretary has not announced that her tenure at the capitol has come to an end. MSNBC also has not commented.
“We don’t have anything to confirm about Jen’s length of planned service or any consideration about future plans,” the White House said in an official statement. “Jen is here and working hard every day on behalf of the president to get you the answers to the questions that you have, and that’s where her focus is.”
The White House has not revealed who will replace Jen Psaki as press secretary if she steps down, but CNN suggested that deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White House communications director Kate Bedingfield will be considered for the role.
If Psaki signs a deal with MSNBC, she will become the second senior communications employee in Joe Biden’s administration to leave the job for an MSBNC gig. Symone Sanders, senior spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, left the White House earlier this year to host a weekend MSNBC show that will begin in May 2022.
CBS also recently hired Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, which was criticized by many of the network’s employees. Senior executives at the network stated that the move would hopefully give them more “GOP access.”
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Fox News as an official commentator this past March, and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer also has his own show on Newsmax.
Jen Psaki has served as President Joe Biden’s Press Secretary since he first took office in January 2021. Previously, she was a CNN political commentator and White House communications director under President Barack Obama.
Psaki also brought back daily White House press briefings, which were severely limited under former President Donald Trump.
According to Yahoo! News, she originally said that her tenure would end after a year, but crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Afghanistan withdrawal, and the war in Ukraine, greatly extended her time at the White House.
On Tuesday, Jen Psaki announced that she had once again tested positive for Covid-19 and that she had two meetings with President Biden just a day prior. The meetings were described as “socially-distanced,” and he is not considered a “close contact” at risk under CDC guidance.
“Today, in preparation for travel to Europe, I took a PCR test this morning,” she announced. “That test came back positive, which means I will be adhering to CDC guidance and no longer be traveling on the President’s trip to Europe.”
President Joe Biden also tested negative on Tuesday and then flew to Brussels for NATO meetings regarding the war in Ukraine.
According to Axios, which first broke the news of Psaki’s rumored departure, the White House Press Secretary has been trying to figure out respectful ways to navigate private sector employment opportunities while in office.