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Karine Jean-Pierre made history at White House briefing

Karine Jean-Pierre
Posted at 10:30 PM, May 26, 2021

Karine Jean-Pierre made history Wednesday becoming the first openly gay woman and the first Black woman in 30 years to deliver a White House press briefing.

Jean-Pierre is the White House principal deputy press secretary. She's briefed reporters aboard Air Force One before, but Wednesday was the first time she did a televised briefing. 

A reporter asked Jean-Pierre what the moment meant for her and she said it was an honor. 

"I appreciate the historic nature, I really do," Jean-Pierre said. "But I believe that, you know, being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It's about, you know, what we do on behalf of the American people. Clearly, the president believes in representation matters, and I appreciate him giving me this opportunity. And it's another reason why I think we are so proud that this is the most diverse administration in history."

Judy Smith, who served as deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush in 1991, was the first Black woman in the role.

Jean-Pierre is seen as a potential successor to current White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and Wednesday’s appearance was seen as an audition of sorts for the job.

Johannah Grenaway contributed to this report