Psaki questioned about the ethics of continuing her position at the White House while negotiating with MSNBC

by mcardinal

Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News 


News broke earlier in the week that White House press secretary Jen Psaki would be leaving her position at the White House and would be taking a job with MSNBC

Axios reported Friday morning that Psaki was in exclusive talks with the cable network and has been consulting with the White House counsel’s office about her pending departure according to The New York Post

Psaki herself, however, has declined to discuss her future plans, telling reporters “You can’t get rid of me yet,” before adding that “I have nothing to confirm about my length of public service or planned service, or anything about consideration about next plans.”

Since the news broke questions have arisen about the ethical ramifications of continuing her position within the White House while negotiating with the private sector. 

According to a report by the Post Millennial, Psaki was grilled on Friday by reporters about negotiations with the network. When asked if she felt her movements were ethical, Psaki didn’t confirm or deny reports of her imminent departure from President Joe Biden’s inner circle.

“My focus every day continues to be speaking on behalf of the president,” Psaki told the press pool in the White House briefing room.

“I have always gone over and above the stringent ethical and legal requirements of the Biden Administration,” Psaki replied to the reporter’s question. “And I take that very seriously. And as a standard for every employee of the White House, I have received rigorous ethics counseling, including, as it relates to future employment, I have complied with all ethics requirements and gone beyond.”

The White House press secretary did, however, say that she has “taken steps” to “recuse” herself from any decisions that might be inappropriate for her upcoming position and said she hopes the public and press will judge her based on her record. “I try my best,” Psaki declared.

However, NBC’s Kristen Welker didn’t let the question go, asking Psaki how she intends to be “an effective briefer,” with one foot out the door, which caused Psaki to again decline to comment on conversations of future plans, saying that she is taking ethical and legal measures “to the highest” degree and “very seriously” considerations of employment.

“How is it ethical to have these conversations with media outlets while you continue to have a job standing behind that podium?” the reporter went on according to PM.

Psaki pushed back saying that there was a range of “stringent” ethical and legal requirements imposed on officials in her position and other White House positions about talks with future employers. “That is true of any industry you’re working in. And I have abided by those,” she added.

The reporter asked, “Broadly speaking, is it the policy of this White House to allow staffers to have discussions, even if indirectly, with institutions that impact and affect their jobs and their jobs here?”

Psaki confirmed that it is the policy of the Biden White House to “ensure that anyone who is having conversations about future employment does so through consultation with the White House Counsel’s office and ensuring they abide by any ethics or legal requirements.”