Watch: Karine Jean-Pierre Ends Briefing Abruptly
The White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre abruptly ended Thursday’s press conference after a reporter that Jean-Pierre often ignores demanded to be called on. The press conference, which was meant to address President Joe Biden welcoming Angolan President João Lourenço at the White House, was abruptly cut short when White House Correspondent Simon Ateba from Today News Africa interrupted National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.
As Kirby was speaking about the importance of the meeting between President Biden and President Lourenço, Ateba interrupted, demanding to be called on to ask a question. “It’s so surprising you are receiving an African leader and you don’t take a question from an African journalist,” Ateba said. Jean-Pierre interjected to let Kirby leave and said, “We can end this briefing if it’s not going to be respectful here.”
Ateba, determined to get his question answered, kept trying to talk, but Jean-Pierre refused to take any questions and abruptly ended the press briefing. Her decision to end the press conference on the spot left many journalists shocked and disappointed.
BREAKING: Karine Jean-Pierre ends the White House briefing in chaos after refusing to call on an African journalist.
Of course, KJP took zero questions.RNC Research on Twitter / X
— Steve Guest (@steveguest ) December 1, 2023
“It’s a shame that the White House does not prioritize diversity and inclusivity, especially when hosting an African leader like the President of Angola,” Ateba said. “Even in the most powerful house in the world, an African journalist is being discriminated against and silenced by the White House.”
Ateba, who has been attending White House press briefings for over a year, expressed his disappointment and heartbreak at being continuously ignored and discriminated against by the White House despite trying to do his job as a journalist. He also criticized the lack of support from his journalist colleagues who remained silent while he was being disrespected and disregarded.
It's a shame that @WhiteHouse @PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre decided to abruptly end the press briefing rather than take a question from me after a year. Even when President Biden is hosting an African leader like the President of Angola today, the White House does not take a… Simon Ateba on Twitter / X
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba ) November 30, 2023
According to Ateba, Jean-Pierre “stormed out to pretend I shut the briefing” which he considered to be “very dishonest.” Her decision to abruptly end the press conference left many unanswered questions from other journalists who were eagerly waiting to ask their questions.
This incident has once again raised questions about the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the White House and the treatment of journalists from different backgrounds. With calls for equal representation and opportunities for all journalists, it remains to be seen how the White House will address this incident and work toward making all journalists feel respected and heard in the future.