Departures follow multiple news reports of inner turmoil at the White House
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced two more press team departures Tuesday amid an ongoing staff shakeup.
Jean-Pierre said White House Rapid Response Director Mike Gwin and White House press assistant Michael Kikukawa would be leaving to serve in public affairs at the U.S. Treasury.
“On a sad note, our dear friend and colleague Michael Gwin will be leaving us for Treasury, where he will serve as deputy assistant secretary for Public Affairs,” Jean-Pierre said. “Gwin has served as the White House director of Rapid Response for the past 16 months, responding to the most challenging and difficult issues imaginable. Yet amidst these often emotionally wrenching stories, Gwin’s poise and moral clarity are unfailing, and his willingness and ability to step up has made him an indispensable member of the team.”
“And joining Gwin at the Treasury Department will be our very own Michael Kikukawa, where he will serve as a spokesperson,” she continued. “Michael, better known here to all of you, to all of us, as Kiku, has served not just as a press assistant, but as the strong engine and reliable engine at the press shop. His relentless work ethic and dedication to the mission of this team have been second to none.”
The White House press team is undergoing a staff shakeup ahead of the midterm elections – its most notable resignation coming from former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who left her role last month for a commentator gig at MSNBC.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The White House also announced last week that assistant press secretary Vedant Patel was leaving to serve as principal deputy spokesperson at the State Department, and the press office’s chief of staff Amanda Finney was leaving for a senior communications post at the Energy Department.
The administration has framed the departures as routine, but they come amid multiple news media reports of inner turmoil at the White House as Biden’s approval numbers sink to all-time lows ahead of the midterms.
Jessica Chasmar is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @JessicaChasmar.