Jean-Pierre Handpicking Reporter Questions For Kirby Creates White House Drama

Kirby Reportedly Upset At Jean-Pierre For Micromanaging Briefing Room Appearances

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre listens as National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

There is reported tension between White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby over the division of responsibilities for their regular media briefings.

Kirby has been making increased appearances at White House press briefings since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel. However, Jean-Pierre controls Kirby’s briefing room appearances and selects which reporters can ask him questions, adding to the tension between the two.

The situation has reportedly frustrated Kirby, particularly when Jean-Pierre does not control the questioning during briefings attended by national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Kirby has emphasized that his role is limited to national security issues and that he is not taking away from Jean-Pierre’s work. He has even clarified that Jean-Pierre approves his invitations to the briefing room, and he would not want to appear as if he is taking away from Jean-Pierre’s achievements.

A White House official who works closely with both told The New York Post that they’ve seen no sign of a rift between the two.

Other have said the Biden administration has put Jean-Pierre in the awkward position of having to manage Kirby’s White House brief room appearances.