Newly-appointed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stressed the importance of her background during her first press conference Monday, saying “representation does matter.”
“I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts. I am a black, gay, immigrant woman. The first of all three of those to hold this position,” Jean-Pierre said.
“I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me. I stand on their shoulders. If it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me, I would not be here,” she continued, adding that she is “forever grateful to them.”
“Representation does matter. You hear us say this often in this administration, and no one understands this better than President Biden,” she said.
She added that her position is not about her, but the American people.
“I will work every day to continue to ensure that we are meeting the president’s high expectation of truth, honesty and transparency,” Jean-Pierre said.
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki held her last briefing Friday amid reports that she is going to accept a host position at MSNBC. (RELATED: Psaki Chokes Up As She Addresses Press One Final Time Before Leaving For Reported MSNBC Gig)
“You have challenged me, you have pushed me,” Psaki told reporters Friday. “You have debated me and at times we have disagreed — that is democracy in action. That it is working. Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong, and you all play an incredibly pivotal role.”
Jean–Pierre’s partner is Suzanne Malveaux, a CNN correspondent, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest.
“Suzanne Malveaux will continue in her role as CNN National Correspondent covering national/international news and cultural events but will not cover politics, Capitol Hill, or the White House while Karine Jean-Pierre is serving as White House Press Secretary,” CNN told the Daily Caller in a statement.