Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to join Biden’s National Security Council in ‘senior communications role,’ bolstering White House policy chops days after Karine Jean-Pierre’s debut as press secretary
- Kirby previously served as State Department press secretary under Obama
- He will take on a senior communications role
- News comes days after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre started her new role
- Kirby’s name came up as a potential successor when it was revealed Press Secretary Jen Psaki would be leaving the White House
- Move comes as White House contends with Russia’s war on Ukraine; challenges posed by China; and the North Korea threat
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby is joining the White House in a senior communications role, as the Biden Administration retools its operation following the departure of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Kirby, who previously served as State Department press secretary during the Obama administration, will take a senior communications role, the Washington Post reported.
His portfolio is expected to include handling strategic communications at the National Security Council.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby is making a move to the White House, where he will take on a strategic communications role
The news comes at the end of the first week for new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
She was elevated from the senior deputy position with the departure of Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki had experience handling foreign policy questions from her own stint as State Department spokeswoman.
Jean-Pierre was accompanied by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at Wednesday’s briefing. The White House regularly brings out cabinet secretaries and often brings the security advisor before an international trip.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave her first briefing in her new role Monday, taking over for Jen Psaki
Jean-Pierre and Sullivan also jointly briefed reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Seoul for the start of Biden’s first trip to Asia as president.
Kirby’s briefings were a TV fixture at the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, where he had to handle sensitive questions about nuclear issues, the NATO alliance, the deployment of additional U.S. forces, and an increase in sophisticated arms shipments to Ukraine.
His names came up on a short list of potential press secretaries after it was revealed Psaki planned to leave the White House. He is a retired Navy rear admiral.
Kirby is expected to work closely with Jean-Pierre and sometimes make appearances in the White House briefing room, a source told the Associated Press.
The move comes as White House contends with Russia’s war on Ukraine, challenges posed by a rising China, and the North Korean nuclear threat.