Kate Bedingfield, a longtime aide to President Biden, will step down as White House communications director later this month, as a new report this week suggests the administration is lost in a sea of dysfunction.
In a statement, the White House said Bedingfield, 40, was leaving to “spend more time with her husband and young children.” Her departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Bedingfield, who has been with Biden since he was Barack Obama’s vice president, was a key strategist on the president’s 2020 campaign — leading White House chief of staff Ron Klain to suggest in a statement that without her “talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House.”
“She played a huge role in everything the President has achieved—from his second term as Vice President, through the campaign and since coming to the White House,” Klain said, hailing Bedingfield’s work on pushing a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package through Congress as well as the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
Those accomplishments have proven to be a double-edged sword for the administration: The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has been blamed in large part for inflation reaching levels not seen since 1981, while Jackson’s confirmation as the first black woman on the high court was overshadowed by its decision overturning Roe v. Wade last month.
Politico reporter Alex Thompson criticized the White House on Twitter for its response to his attempt to break the news Wednesday that White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is stepping down from her position soon.
He suggested that the White House gave him the runaround to avoid giving him the story.
“I called the White House at 2:53pm to ask for comment and told them we were running it. They asked for more time to check with folks. I gave it to them. WSJ pubbed at 3:11pm with a statement from Klain,” Thompson tweeted.
Bedingfield’s departure comes on the heels of Biden’s first White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, leaving the administration for a job with MSNBC. Psaki’s replacement, Karine Jean-Pierre, has experienced a rough first few weeks on the job — with Politico recently reporting that her answers to questions have “baffled reporters, and even made some of her White House colleagues wince.”
This is an excerpt from New York Post.