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Plot To Remove White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Revealed

Top aides to President Biden devised a plan last fall in secrecy to replace White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre by enlisting outside allies to help facilitate her departure, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to the New York Post.

Jean-Pierre, who made history in May 2022 by becoming the first Black and first openly gay person to hold the position, had developed a frustrating habit of reciting pre-prepared answers directly from a binder during her regular briefings with reporters. Her superiors perceived this as a less-than-convincing presentation for 81-year-old Biden as he prepared for his re-election campaign, The Post noted.

Anita Dunn, the de facto White House communications chief and wife of Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer, has reportedly decided to bring in prominent Democrats to advise Karine Jean-Pierre that it is time to move on. The sources revealed that Dunn felt it was the right moment to communicate this message to Jean-Pierre, 49.

“There were a number of people she asked to engage Karine,” said one source who heard of the strategy directly from Dunn, The Post noted.

The source also informed The Post that Dunn asserted White House chief of staff Jeff Zients was aware of and endorsed the clandestine plan to remove Jean-Pierre from the West Wing.

“There was an effort to have some outside folks who Karine knows and trusts talk to her about why leaving last fall would have made a lot of sense for her and her career,” the source said, describing it as an “effort to encourage her to move along.”

The source noted further that Jean-Pierre “had been in the job for a year and a half at that point, which is a pretty standard tenure for a press secretary in what is admittedly a very demanding job [and] Jeff and Anita [tried] to have folks that she would listen to and trust talk to her about why it might be wise to do that.”

Jen Psaki, Biden’s first press secretary, served in that role for just under 16 months before stepping down to become a host and analyst at MSNBC.

Another source informed The Post that “Jeff and Anita were trying to find Karine a graceful exit” due to concerns about the negative appearance of removing her involuntarily, The Post continued.

“There’s a huge diversity issue and they’re afraid of what folks are going to say,” added the second source, who indicated they were informed of the initiative by multiple individuals briefed by Dunn. They confirmed that at least one person from outside the administration did engage in discussions with Jean-Pierre.

According to the first source, Dunn’s plan’s disclosure is expected to create uncomfortable workplace dynamics, but The Post noted that it’s improbable that it will lead to Jean-Pierre’s departure.

“She has been pretty consistent in telling people from the minute she got the job that she was going to stay through the election,” they said. “I think Karine has decided to stay come hell or high water and that’s that.”

Although Jean-Pierre will remain in her position, the underlying issues that led to Dunn’s unsuccessful maneuvers persist, said the outlet. Both sources said that the press secretary relies too heavily on notes, lacking the spontaneous rebuttals and quick-witted responses necessary to effectively advocate for Biden’s agenda.

“Karine doesn’t have an understanding of the issues and she reads the book [binder] word-for-word,” said the second source, noting further that the situation is even more difficult because “she thinks she’s doing an amazing job.”

“She doesn’t have a grasp of the issues and doesn’t spend the time to learn,” that person told The Post.

“These issues are not second nature to people. Israel and Gaza is a perfect example. It’s very nuanced. Jen would have calls with people to feel well-versed enough to go to the briefing.”

“There’s an enormous amount of work that goes into getting ready,” the first source told The Post, “and consistently she does not put in that level of work.”

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