President Joe Biden is facing a sudden exodus of press staffers following White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s decision to abandon the president for a lucrative contract with MSNBC.
Psaki’s successor Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday bid farewell to the White House director of rapid response communications Michael Gwin, who fled the press office for a job at the Treasury Department.
“Gwin has served as the White House Director of Rapid Response for the past 16 months, responding to the most challenging and difficult issues imaginable,” she said at the White House press briefing on Tuesday.
Michael Kikukawa, described as the “engine of the press shop” left the White House team to work with Secretary Janet Yellen at the Treasury Department.
It’s been a privilege to be part of @PressSec’s remarkable team. After an incredible 500+ days, I have a lot of people to thank and not nearly enough days left to do it!
— Michael Kikukawa (@mkikukawa46) June 7, 2022
Assistant press secretary Vedant Patel left the White House on June 1 for a job at the State Department.
— Vedant Patel (@VedantPatel46) June 1, 2022
Biden’s chief of staff for the White House press office also left in early June for a communications job at the Department of Energy.
I look forward to continuing to serve at @ENERGY.
Catch me at @FinneyAmanda2
— Amanda Finney (@FinneyAmanda46) June 3, 2022
Psaki left the White House on May 13, turning over the keys to her deputy Karine Jean-Pierre.
“I am 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,” she said.