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Karine Jean-Pierre Acknowledges History-Making Moment in Her First Briefing as White House Press Sec

Karine Jean-Pierre made her debut on Monday as White House press secretary, making history as the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the public-facing role.

Jean-Pierre took the helm after former White House press secretary Jen Psaki left the post. Psaki, who served for over 15 months, is expected to join the NBC News Group family as early as September.

"Let's get started," Jean-Pierre said as she stepped to the podium for her first briefing as the 35th White House press secretary. She began by honoring the 10 people who were killed in the supermarket mass shooting in Buffalo over the weekend.

Before she fielded questions from reporters, Jean-Pierre also acknowledged the historic nature of her position and credited "generations of barrier-breaking people" that she said paved the way for her.

"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," she said. "If it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me, I would not be here. But I benefit from their sacrifices. I have learned from their excellence, and I am forever grateful to them."

Jean-Pierre is among several of Biden administration officials who have made history as the president has prioritized selecting diverse candidates to serve in top positions.

"Representation does matter. You hear us say this often in this administration. And no one understands this better than President Biden," Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre then pivoted to explain her approach to the job, vowing to provide the truth and uphold respect for the press.

"I will work every day to continue to ensure we are meeting the president's high expectations of truth, honesty, and transparency," she said.

"We might not see eye-to-eye here in this room all the time," Jean-Pierre told reporters. "That give-and-take is so incredibly healthy and it's a part of our democracy. And I look forward to engaging with all of you on that."


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