Jen Psaki Addresses Rumors About Her Future In The White House Head On

White House press secretary Jen Psaki never made it a secret that she intends to leave her position at some point in 2022; she has been open about it since President Joe Biden first took office. She told The New York Times in 2021 that she intended to stay in the position for about a year before moving on. "I think there frankly needs to be diverse spaces and voices as communicators," Psaki explained. "Women, certainly, but beyond that."

As March of this year came to a close, reports emerged that Psaki would be joining NBCUniversal to host her own show on the company's streaming platform Peacock or the more liberal-leaning cable news channel, MSNBC. The New York Times noted that Psaki declined to confirm the rumors about her future.

According to CNN, some NBC News reporters were not happy with the network's decision to hire a White House spokesperson so soon after they left their position. NBC News president Noah Oppenheim reportedly assured staffers that, if the career shift happened, Psaki would be linked to opinion-based programs. 

All of this led to questions about when the press secretary would be leaving her post in the Biden administration, and Psaki had to assure people that her departure is not imminent.

Accolades don't equal a farewell for Jen Psaki

According to The Daily Mail, Jen Psaki has spent time in recent days at the White House press room podium giving shout-outs to more junior staff members on her communications team. For example, on April 7 she praised assistant press secretary Vedant Patel by saying, "He's a beautiful writer. He's a fast writer." Rumors started ramping up once again that her departure could come at any moment.

However, Psaki claimed her shout-outs are not unusual, and that she has offered them in the past. Thus, they did not equal a farewell on her part. "I think it is simply a reflection of my appreciation for the incredible people on my team that I get to work with every day," she said. "I've shouted them out in the past before ... I've presented them with sashes, to wear all sorts of embarrassing things," Psaki added. "Our team works their tails off. There's a lot going on and it's just simply an effort to recognize that."

When the rumors that she was in talks with NBCUniversal emerged, NBC's Kristen Welker asked Psaki to address any conflict of interest. She quickly replied but again didn't confirm any rumors. "I have taken the ethics, legal requirements, to the highest. Very seriously," she said. "Just as any White House official would, and I have taken steps beyond that to ensure there is no conflicts."