Karine Jean-Pierre Abruptly Leaves White House Press Briefing Following Questions from Reporter
At a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre abruptly concluded the session following a tense exchange with Simon Ateba, a reporter from Today News Africa. Ateba, who had previously accused the White House of discrimination in June for not being selected to ask questions, attempted to inquire about the visit of Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, but Jean-Pierre chose another reporter instead.
Ateba expressed his surprise at not being able to ask a question about an African leader as an African journalist, which led Jean-Pierre to threaten to end the briefing if it wasn’t conducted respectfully. As the situation escalated with Ateba continuing to speak and a reporter attempting to ask a question, Jean-Pierre collected her notes and left the podium, visibly upset, saying “Thanks, everybody,” and dismissing another attempt at a question.
Earlier this year, the White House had threatened to revoke Ateba’s press privileges after a heated incident during a June 26 press briefing. In that instance, Jean-Pierre had called Ateba “incredibly rude” for interrupting and threatened to terminate the briefing if he didn’t comply. Jean-Pierre’s office later addressed Ateba in a letter, which he shared on social media, reprimanding him for his behavior during the briefing.