July 28, 2023

White House Press Secretary Announces Departure of Reporters, Staff Member

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said farewell to two reporters and one staff member during Thursday's press briefing.

The departures included assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan, French White House correspondent Sebastian Smith of Agence France-Presse (AFP), and Kethevane Gorjestani of France 24.

“Thank you both for your time here with us at the White House briefing room and we are very sad to see you all go and we’ll miss you both,” Jean-Pierre said.

“Additionally, I wanted to congratulate Ket on your service as the president of the foreign press group and we’re looking forward to working with Richard who is going to be taking on the responsibilities in the new role.”

The departure of another Biden staffer follows several high-profile exits this year. Perhaps most notable was the resignation of chief of staff Ron Klain in January.

"The loss of Klain marks a high-profile exit for Biden, although his tenure has not been without controversy," the New York Post reported.

"Klain, a prolific Twitter user, violated the Hatch Act’s restrictions on political solicitation and misusing his authority by retweeting a May 22 post that encouraged people to buy the partisan Democratic group Strike PAC’s 'Democrats Deliver' merchandise, the Office of Special Counsel found last year," it added.

The departure of two White House reporters also comes as controversy continues over those who attend daily briefings.

The number of reporters has been lowered both during and after the pandemic, with accusations of conservative journalists being forced out of a place in the room.

The news of two departing reporters and another staffer also comes as the Biden administration continues to face investigation over the president's alleged bribery in the House Oversight Committee, with new information coming out almost daily.

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