‘Maybe In 2024’: Simon Ateba Says Jean-Pierre Refuses To Meet With Him For A Year

[Screenshot/Simon Ateba]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Today News Africa chief White House correspondent Simon Ateba tweeted Tuesday that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to meet with him until the next year.

Ateba said he approached Jean-Pierre’s office Thursday and asked to meet with her, prompting the press secretary to allegedly suggest that they meet next year. He told the Daily Caller on Tuesday that he went to her office to ask an unanswered question and ask her about the “best way to move forward” in the new year.

Ateba wrote, “I may not get a question at the White House this year as Karine Jean-Pierre told me in her office last week that she will not meet up with me in 2023. ‘Maybe in 2024,’ she added. Unless I yell out a question, I may not be called on. Tough place to be in folks!”

The White House told the Daily Caller that Ateba’s assertion is untrue.

The reporter vowed to continue to raise his hand in an attempt to get a question answered. (RELATED: White House Reporter Simon Ateba Says Jean-Pierre Should Be ‘Ashamed’ For ‘Discriminating’ Against Reporters)

“I will keep raising my hand hoping that one day I will be given an opportunity to ask a question which is important to US-Africa relations. It’s hard to be in a briefing room where you know that the only way to get a question is to yell out,” he told the Daily Caller. “When you shout out your question, the people watching television at home have no idea how long you’ve been raising your hand without being called on and what steps you have taken to get called on.”

Ateba has faced scrutiny in the briefing room for yelling out questions without being called on. After notably derailing the May 13 press briefing, the final held by former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WCHA) threatened to expel him over his behavior.

Ateba called the letter “heartbreaking,” alleging that the White House has treated him “unfairly.”

“I am the victim here and I am being treated so unfairly by WHCA,” he said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller. “It is sad and it is heartbreaking. America is the greatest country in the world and no country comes even close. Here in the United States, press freedom is respected, or so I thought, or so I was made to believe.”

In November, Ateba confronted Jean-Pierre for not calling on Daily Caller White House correspondent Diana Glebova as she attempted to ask about the origins of COVID-19 to White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was present at the briefing. Jean-Pierre snapped, telling him that the briefing will not operate as he wants it.

“If you’re going to hold a press briefing, you need to call on people across the room,” Ateba said. “She has a valid question. She’s asking about the origin of COVID … Fauci’s the best person to answer this question.”

“I hear the question, but we’re not doing this the way you want it,” Jean-Pierre snapped. “This is disrespectful. Simon, I’m done. I’m done with you right now. You’re taking time away from your colleagues.”

Jean-Pierre later stormed out of the Dec. 8 briefing as Ateba yelled out a question about the U.S. Africa Summit, where President Joe Biden met with 50 African leaders. The press secretary attempted to call on a different reporter despite Ateba repeatedly asking the question.