It was a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that one of President Joe Biden’s most loyal and trusted aides, White House Communications Directo Kate Bedingfield, was set to resign fro her role in the administration in the coming days.
In making that announcement, however, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was unable to refrain from taking an unprovoked and unnecessary swipe at former President Donald Trump in doing so, the Conservative Brief reported.
Jean-Pierre also used that opportunity to reveal that the Biden administration prioritizes the diversity of its staffers the same as, if not more than, the actual capabilities and qualifications a staffer may have to contribute to the team.
Bedingfield to resign
During the Feb. 10 press briefing, press secretary Jean-Pierre noted that it was “a bittersweet day for us — a bittersweet moment for the Communications and Press teams and all of us of here at the White House.”
“I’ve gotten to know Kate Bedingfield as a colleague and a friend, being in the trenches together and representing the President’s agenda together” since at least 2007, she said, and Bedingfield “has been fighting this fight on behalf of the President since long before the campaign was launched, going back to when she was his Communications Director as Vice President.”
“She’s been a trusted source of strategic advice and an unflinching voice for the President’s message and values, playing an integral role in our successes these first two years and on the campaign,” the press secretary said of her immediate superior in the White House. “She’s also a pillar of this team, which she helped build as the Deputy Campaign Manager across the primary and general elections.”
According to NBC News at that time, Bedingfield will exit before the end of February, after having backtracked on an initial resignation announcement in the summer of 2022. The outlet noted that Bedingfield has been with Biden in some form since at least 2015, and will likely return in some capacity to serve Biden’s anticipated 2024 re-election campaign.
Trump remark adopted as badge of honor
Then, in an effort to highlight Bedingfield’s tough reputation, Jean-Pierre took a shot at former President Trump by noting how a critical remark he had made during the 2020 election had been adopted by the Biden team and jokingly applied as a sort of badge of honor for Bedingfield.
Jean-Pierre said, “I understand that after a certain previous occupant of this White House, whose name will be nameless, but — as you know who this person is — he got angry and yelled and said, quote, ‘Biden has a team of killers. All I’ve got — all I’ve got is a defense.'”
“Okay, that was in the campaign. That was — the campaign communications team started calling Kate and the captain — the captain of the Team [of] Killers. That doesn’t surprise me at all because if there’s one thing Kate is, is she is a leader,” the press secretary added. “We’re very sad to see her go, but no one has earned some time with their children, spouse, and dog more than Kate.”
Former President Trump did at one point refer to then-candidate Biden’s campaign staff as a “team of killers,” but not in a manner intended to attack or smear them. Rather, it was a form of praise made in critical comparison to the perceived shortcomings of his own campaign staff, according to June 2020 report from the New York Times.
All hail diversity
As for the Biden administration’s apparent commitment to diversity simply for the sake of diversity, that was evidenced by Jean-Pierre’s highlighting of the sexual orientation of Bedingfield’s replacement as though it was one of the deciding qualifications for the position.
The new White House communications director will be Ben LaBolt, who served as a spokesman for former President Barack Obama during his Senate years as well as both presidential campaigns, and has served informally as a consultant to President Biden on his Cabinet and judicial appointments.
According to Jean-Pierre, however, “I also know that Ben is making history — as you know, we believe, here in the Biden-Haris White House, that representation matters. He will be the first openly gay Communications Director, which is very, very important indeed.”