It's the end of the Psaki era behind the West Wing podium. On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, 43, gave her final briefing, fielding more than 50 questions before offering her goodbyes. "You have challenged me. You have pushed me. You have debated me, and at times we have disagreed," an emotional Psaki told the reporters gathered before her, per USA Today. "That is democracy in action. That is it working." She also thanked President Biden, first lady Jill Biden, and her own staff, and said she hoped she'd brought back "integrity, respect, and civility to the White House."
Insider notes that Psaki, who's said to be heading next to MSNBC, held 224 press briefings during her 15-month stretch in the Biden White House—more than all four of former President Trump's press secretaries combined. One of that group, Stephanie Grisham, didn't hold a single on-record briefing during her eight months on the job. During her farewells, Psaki conceded she'd let her "Irish side show" on occasion, and with no other person was that more evident than with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, with whom Psaki has famously sparred. During a Fox and Friends appearance before Psaki's last turn at the podium, Doocy offered some kind words, reports the Hill.
"It's not just me asking questions," he said. "She would ask me questions right back. ... I think that all that extra homework that I knew I had to do—because when I challenged her she would challenge me right back—probably has made me a better reporter. And so, I am grateful to her for that." He also tweeted a photo of himself and Psaki, captioning it "the end of an era." Psaki, for her part, said during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday that she'll miss Doocy and that the two had "a very good, professional relationship," per the Hill. Karine Jean-Pierre, 47, will slide into Psaki's spot as the new press secretary, becoming the first Black woman and first openly gay woman in the role. (Read more Jen Psaki stories.)