Karine Jean-Pierre’s most memorable moments from first year as White House press secretary

From dodging questions to ‘Ted Lasso’ drama, Jean-Pierre has had quite the year

Karine Jean-Pierre replaced Jen Psaki as White House press secretary one year ago on Saturday, bringing a new spokesperson to the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room during an unsteady time for the Biden administration.

Over the past year, Jean-Pierre has taken heat for spouting White House talking points, sparred with reporters and defended her boss at all costs. She has developed a reputation for giving non-answers or saying outright that the White House has no comment on the news of the day.

Reporters have experienced times of great frustration, such as when deflections and obfuscations over questions about Biden's handling of classified documents wore thin. She has also drawn scorn for stating the trans community was "under attack" following a trans shooter attacking a Nashville Christian school, mistakenly referred to Kamala Harris as "the president," denied that anyone "walks over" the southern border, accidently called Biden "President Obama," called people who support the "MAGA agenda" a threat to democracy and "extreme" and squeezed in a dig at since-fired CNN host Don Lemon. 

Karine Jean-Pierre at WH briefing

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images))


The role of press secretary puts Jean-Pierre firmly in the spotlight on a near-daily basis, so gaffes and mishaps are both expected and frequent. Here are some of Jean-Pierre's most memorable moments: 

Jean-Pierre blasted for shouting down reporters: ‘Condescending, smug, absolute embarrassment

During a particularly memorable press conference in November, Jean-Pierre shouted down reporters attempting to ask Dr. Anthony Fauci questions regarding the origins of the coronavirus.

"We have a process here. I'm not calling out on people who yell. And you're being disrespectful to your colleagues, and you're being disrespectful to our guest," Jean-Pierre said. "I will not call on you if you yell, and also you're taking time off the clock because Dr. Fauci has to leave in a couple of minutes."

Other reporters defended the target of the press secretary, which led to Jean-Pierre continuing to yell that she was "done" answering their questions. Social media users quickly condemned Jean-Pierre’s behavior as "unprofessional" and an attack on the press.

Prior to this exchange, Jean-Pierre was also criticized by White House reporters for not taking questions from members of the press often seated in the back. One instance in August had a reporter insisting that she had been attempting to ask a question for "more than a week" only for Jean-Pierre to respond "respect your colleagues." 

placeholderJean-Pierre says 'voter suppression' and 'high turnout' can take place 'at the same time'

Jean-Pierre raised eyebrows in October by declaring that "voter suppression" and "high turnout" can take place at the same time when asked about election turnout in Georgia. She made the comments during a press briefing when a reporter asked her about President Biden's suggestion that Georgia's voting laws were akin to "Jim Crow 2.0," given that the state saw record early voting turnout.

"And speaking generally of course, more broadly, of course, high turnout and voter suppression can take place at the same time," Jean-Pierre said. "They don't have to be, one doesn't have to happen on its own. They could be happening at the same time."

Jean-Pierre ripped for claiming Biden has worked to secure the border: 'Most egregious lie I've heard'

Karine Jean-Pierre defends White Houses handling of border crisisVideo

Jean-Pierre defended the Biden administration's response to the border crisis during a December press briefing. 

"What Americans should know is that the president has done the work to deal with what we're seeing at the border since day one," she said before criticizing Republicans for executing "political stunts." 

Many scolded Jean-Pierre for defending Biden's record on the border despite a record influx of illegal immigrants under his watch. Republican National Committee rapid response staffer Jake Schneider tweeted, "This might be the most egregious lie I've heard from this pathetic administration. Anyone with eyeballs can see Democrats haven't done jack to secure the border."


Jean-Pierre says DeSantis wants to 'block' study of 'Black Americans' after rejecting AP course

In January, Jean-Pierre said that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, R., wants to "block" the study of Black Americans after his administration rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course.

"If you think about the study of Black Americans, that is what he wants to block," Jean Pierre said. "These types of actions aren't new. They are not new from what we're seeing, especially from Florida. Sadly, Florida currently bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love."

She continued: "They didn't block AP European history. They didn't block our music history. They didn't block our art history. But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture. It is incomprehensible."

Bryan Griffin, DeSantis' press secretary, said in a statement that the Florida Department of Education rejected the course because it "lacks educational value and historical accuracy." He told Fox News Digital that Jean Pierre's comments are "demonstrably incorrect."

"The study of African American history is not only permitted in Florida under Governor Ron DeSantis but required by law. In fact, the teaching of African American History has been expanded in Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis took office," Griffin said at the time. 

placeholderGriffin pointed to a Florida statute which requires the teaching of African American history K-12 education throughout the state. He also provided a list of concerns that the state's department of education found within the course, which includes the courses "Reparations Movement," "Movements for Black Lives," and "Black Queer Studies."


Jean-Pierre frustrates White House reporters over documents questions: 'Really hurting her credibility

That same month, Jean-Pierre irked reporters by avoiding questions related to Biden's handling of classified documents. 

"The White House press corps is incredibly frustrated with Jean-Pierre for refusing to answer any questions about this issue at the briefing room," a White House reporter told Fox News Digital in January. "It's very insulting to reporters especially when she repeatedly says she has answered a question when she very clearly has not. But overall, it's clear the White House is challenging the fundamental purpose of the briefing room, which is why reporters continue to be aggressive."

Fox News' White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich said at the time that reporters were being referred to a "black hole" while seeking answers from the White House, the White House Counsel and the Department of Justice (DOJ).  

"It is frustrating to the press corps here at the White House… we formally asked for the press secretary to bring to the briefing room the attorneys for the president, so that we can ask people these questions, the very people that we’re being directed to and where we’re getting our questions ignored or unanswered or referred elsewhere. And she, again, when posed that question right there in the briefing room today, said well, you’ll have to ask them," Heinrich told Neil Cavuto. 

placeholderJean-Pierre claimed she'd been "forthcoming" about the classified documents despite continuously referring reporters to the Department of Justice and the White House Counsel. She previously told reporters that the search for documents was "completed" before more documents were discovered two days later at the Delaware home. 

Jean-Pierre stumbles when pressed on Biden absence at King Charles' coronation

Karine Jean-Pierre stumbles when pressed on Biden absence at King Charles coronation: A snub to the BritishVideo

The press secretary stumbled in April while trying to respond to reporters pressing her over President Biden's decision not to attend the coronation of King Charles III.

When asked on three separate occasions about Biden's planned absence at the event, Jean-Pierre fumbled her words and gave a rambling answer repeatedly touting the president's "good relationship" with the king while avoiding directly answering why he decided not to attend.


NYT reporter clashes with Jean-Pierre over WH silence on Trump indictment: 'You're lecturing me

New York Times reporter Michael Shear had a heated clash with Jean-Pierre in April over what he suggested was the Biden administration's selective silence when it comes to responding to legal matters involving former President Trump.

placeholderJean-Pierre repeatedly deflected questions about the 34 felony charges Trump was facing from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg involving the 2016 hush-money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

However, Shear grilled her what "the difference" was between commenting on the Trump indictment versus the White House's outspokenness about Jan. 6, which involved hundreds of criminal probes. Jean-Pierre responded by referring to Jan. 6 as a "devastating day" that led to law enforcement being "attacked" and called the events an "attack on democracy."

Shear pushed back on her initial response, saying "500 cases" were brought by those who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, but Jean-Pierre doubled down, stressing "people died" as a result of those events.

"Karine, I don't need a lecture on the fact that people died," Shear swiped the White House press secretary.

White House briefing erupts after reporter berates Jean-Pierre in front of ‘Ted Lasso’ cas

The White House press briefing devolved into chaos after a reporter claimed Jean-Pierre was "making a mockery of the First Amendment" while the cast of "Ted Lasso," including Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, were in attendance to speak about mental health.

Today News Africa Chief White House Correspondent Simon Ateba shouted during the briefing with the Hollywood cast standing awkwardly behind Jean-Pierre. "This is not China. This is not Russia. What you are doing you’re making a mockery of the First Amendment," Ateba said at one point, peeved that he was not called on. 

placeholderThroughout the rant, a woman offscreen repeatedly yelled "decorum," urging Ateba to quiet down. Attempting to make light of the situation, Karine Jean-Pierre turned around to the Lasso cast and said, "fun times, welcome, guys," before asking Ateba if he was "going to behave."

The White House press corps members appeared agitated with Ateba, grumbling and sporadically yelling at him to cease his vocal displeasure with Jean-Pierre’s conduct. Several times, Jean-Pierre stopped her comments and stood quietly as she waited for Ateba to finish speaking.

Ateba continued his outburst even after the cast of Lasso left the room. He suggested that reporters in the front of the room were offered many opportunities in the room to speak, while others in the back were rarely called on, if at all.

Jean-Pierre cuts off reporter, gets visibly angry over question on Biden's budget responsibilities

WATCH: Jean-Pierre cuts off reporter, gets visibly angry over question on Bidens budget responsibilitiesVideo

Jean-Pierre got into a tussle with a reporter in April, appearing visibility frustrated when pressed on President Biden's responsibilities pertaining to the process of agreeing on a budget with Congress.

She cut off NBC News' Kristen Welker, as the latter suggested Biden was putting the nation's financial health at risk by dragging out the budget process after Republicans announced their proposals to coincide with raising the debt limit.

"It's not the president that's risking this," Jean-Pierre said, appearing angry. Welker attempted to speak but Jean-Pierre raised her voice. 

placeholder"No. It is Congress that is risking this," she said. "These political stunts that you're seeing from Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy and the MAGA wing — this is dangerous. These are political stunts that will have long-lasting effects, as you just laid out." 

Welker then asked, "But doesn't everyone bear responsibility, including — and especially — the president?"

The two continued to bicker from there with Jean-Pierre eventually declaring, "I already answered the question, Kristen, many, many times." 

Jean-Pierre roasted for claiming illegal immigration is down 90%: 'These people think we're stupid'

Karine Jean-Pierre: Illegal immigration came down by more than 90%Video

Jean-Pierre was eviscerated by Twitter users earlier this month for declaring that illegal immigration was down by 90% since implementing President Biden’s immigration policies. During a press conference, a reporter questioned Jean-Pierre on how Biden plans to deal with illegal immigration. The press secretary insisted that Biden has already put forth efforts to address the "broken" immigration system "on his first day in this administration" and touted his alleged successes.

"In the meantime, he has tools that he's used to make sure we do this. We actually deal with the immigration system in a humane way, in a way that actually deals with what we're seeing at the border. And that's why you've seen the parolee program be so successful. When it comes to illegal immigration, you've seen it come down by more than 90%. And that's because of this, the actions that this president has taken," Jean-Pierre said.

Social media users attacked the claim that illegal immigration was down by over 90% as illegal border crossings reached record levels several times during the Biden administration. Among the critics was Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Chuck Ross who declared, "Maybe the biggest lie from the White House podium so far this year."

placeholderJean-Pierre shredded for claiming reopening schools was a 'priority' for Biden: 'Spin doesn’t change facts'
Karine Jean-Pierre defends Biden track record on reopening schoolsVideo

Conservatives skewered Jean-Pierre earlier this month for claiming Biden had made it a "priority" to reopen schools after the COVID-19 lockdowns.

A reporter brought up the toll the lockdowns took on children's education and asked the press secretary what Biden’s plan is to help kids catch up from learning loss.

"Look, as you just said, kids have lost so much in the pandemic," Jean-Pierre said. "This is why, when the president walked in, he made a priority to open schools, one of the things that was important to do to make sure that our kids, who have lost so much, were able to go back in-person school if they choose, have the resources that they needed to really succeed and move forward in their education."

Conservatives across Twitter suggested otherwise, slamming her for rewriting history about the Biden administration’s slow departure from COVID-19 lockdown policies.

Prior to taking on the role of press secretary, Jean-Pierre has been a long-time advisor to Biden, having served in senior communication and political roles in the administration, the Biden campaign, and with Biden while he served as vice president in the Obama Administration. She was also an analyst for left-wing cable network MSNBC, which hired Psaki last year after she left the White House.

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