The Russian state TV hosts used footage of Jean-Pierre at her first press conference to mock her in a racist and homophobic rant
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Vladimir Putin’s state TV propagandists have targeted the new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a rant where they suggested she only got the job because she is black and gay.

The Russian state TV hosts laughed as they said Jean-Pierre will be ‘replaced’ in a month or two by a ‘white, heterosexual male’.

They claimed Jean-Pierre, who is the first black, gay and immigrant woman to hold the position of White House press secretary, was not chosen for her ‘professional abilities’.

Instead, the TV hosts continued with a racist and sexist rant on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1 where they said that she only got the job because she is a ‘dark-skinned immigrant’.

Jean-Pierre, 47, on Monday became the first black, openly gay White House press secretary. She was born in Fort-de-France, Martinique and is the daughter of Haitian parents. Her family moved to New York City when she was five.

Addressing her historic position in her first press briefing on Monday, Jean-Pierre said: ‘I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts. 

‘I am a black gay immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position. I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me. I stand on their shoulders.’

The Russian state TV hosts used footage of Jean-Pierre at her first press conference to mock her.

The Russian state TV hosts used footage of Jean-Pierre at her first press conference to mock her in a racist and homophobic rant

The Russian state TV hosts used footage of Jean-Pierre at her first press conference to mock her in a racist and homophobic rant

Speaking with video of Jean-Pierre holding her first briefing behind him, Russian host Evgeny Popov told his fellow pundits: 'This girl will make it for a month or two, then she'll be replaced, to your satisfaction. 'They'll replace her with a white, heterosexual male'

Speaking with video of Jean-Pierre holding her first briefing behind him, Russian host Evgeny Popov told his fellow pundits: ‘This girl will make it for a month or two, then she’ll be replaced, to your satisfaction. ‘They’ll replace her with a white, heterosexual male’

Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for her first press briefing as press secretary on Monday

Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for her first press briefing as press secretary on Monday

Speaking with video of Jean-Pierre holding her first briefing behind him, Russian host Evgeny Popov told his fellow pundits: ‘This girl will make it for a month or two, then she’ll be replaced, to your satisfaction.

‘They’ll replace her with a white, heterosexual male.’

Fellow host Olga Skabeeva laughed as she said: ‘Let’s live long enough to see it.’

Pundit Andrei Sidorchik smiled as he added: ‘She admits not being chosen for professional abilities, but because she is a dark-skinned immigrant and this was secured by her predecessors.

‘When she makes mistakes, that will be her excuse. ‘I’m not a professional, I was chosen for other reasons’.

Popov added: ‘I read many books, graduated from a University, I did my PhD thesis on such and such a topic, I speak many languages… but that’s not what it takes to represent the United States at the White House.’

‘It’s more important to be… like that,’ Popov said as he pointed to Jean-Pierre in the video playing in the background. ‘But at least she’s cute.’

The Russian hosts’ claims about Jean-Pierre, who has worked on multiple presidential campaigns, achieved a master’s degree in public administration and worked as a deputy White House press secretary for months, have been slammed as baseless by critics.

Jean-Pierre on Monday reflected on what it means to become one of the most visible members of President Joe Biden’s administration as she spoke about a letter that students at her former elementary school in New York wrote telling her how proud they are of her.

The TV hosts continued with a racist and sexist rant on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1 where they said that she only got the job because she is a 'dark-skinned immigrant'

The TV hosts continued with a racist and sexist rant on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1 where they said that she only got the job because she is a ‘dark-skinned immigrant’

Popov added: 'I read many books, graduated from a University, I did my PhD thesis on such and such a topic, I speak many languages... but that's not what it takes to represent the United States at the White House'

Popov added: ‘I read many books, graduated from a University, I did my PhD thesis on such and such a topic, I speak many languages… but that’s not what it takes to represent the United States at the White House’

'It's more important to be... like that,' Popov said as he pointed to Jean-Pierre in the video playing in the background. 'But at least she's cute.'

‘It’s more important to be… like that,’ Popov said as he pointed to Jean-Pierre in the video playing in the background. ‘But at least she’s cute.’

‘Representation matters, and not just for girls, but also for boys,’ Jean-Pierre told reporters.

‘And so what I hope is that young people get to dream big and dream bigger than they have before by seeing me stand here and answer all of your questions,’ she said.

Jean-Pierre earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

She parlayed her interest in the environment into a job in the early 2000s as director of legislative and budget affairs for New York City Council Member James Gennaro, who was head of the Environmental Protection Committee.

Jean-Pierre will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as White House press secretary. She lives in DC with her partner, CNN journalist Suzanne Malveaux, and their child (pictured: The couple attend this year's White House Correspondents Dinner)

Jean-Pierre will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as White House press secretary. She lives in DC with her partner, CNN journalist Suzanne Malveaux, and their child (pictured: The couple attend this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner)

It marked her introduction to politics.

Jean-Pierre wrote in her 2019 memoir, ‘Moving Forward,’ that Gennaro took a ‘huge chance’ by hiring her, even with her Ivy League degree. 

Who is Karine Jean-Pierre? 

Jean-Pierre, 44, who serves as Psaki’s deputy, has stepped in to fill the press secretary’s shoes on multiple occasions, including during both of Psaki’s Covid situations.

She is well-accustomed to the press, having briefed repeatedly on presidential trips and having taken turns at the podium herself without incident or veering off script.

She is known for keeping a close grip on the binder of information compiled for briefers, and takes pains not to get far from its contents. That is what she did when she jumped on President Biden’s trip to Europe last month on short notice following Psaki’s positive covid test. 

She briefed reporters aboard Air Force One en route, but kept a low profile on the trip during Biden’s rounds of diplomacy.

 

But he said in an interview that ‘she had a way about her that was poised and competent and friendly and effective without having any trace of qualities that could in any way, shape or form be off-putting.’

‘She was a rare talent that I was very fortunate to have,’ Gennaro said. ‘I’m just very happy and proud to be a little footnote in her journey.’

Jean-Pierre made the leap into national politics after working for another city council member and later joining a labor union campaign aimed at Walmart. She first worked on Democrat John Edwards’ presidential campaign before joining Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential bid in Chicago.

She followed Obama to the White House, working in his political affairs operation and later on his reelection campaign. She first met Biden while working for Obama.

She moved around after leaving the Obama White House, including working for the ACLU and for the liberal advocacy group MoveOn as its chief public affairs officer during the presidency of Republican Donald Trump. She also has been an NBC and MSNBC political analyst.

Jean-Pierre worked on Biden’s presidential campaign, then followed him to the White House as principal deputy press secretary. In that role, she led the briefing on several occasions, making history in May 2021 when she first subbed for press secretary Jen Psaki.

She also held regular off-camera gaggles with the much smaller group of reporters who travel aboard Air Force One with the president.

Biden promoted Jean-Pierre after Psaki, who had been press secretary since the start of the administration, announced she was stepping down last Friday.

Rahna Epting, executive director at MoveOn, said elevating Jean-Pierre was a ‘brilliant choice’ by the White House, citing her personal story as a Black and openly LGBTQ woman, as well as her extensive past work on political campaigns and for advocacy groups.

‘She can kind of see all the angles necessary and I believe she’ll do an excellent job,’ Epting said.

Jean-Pierre replaced Jen Psaki as the White House press secretary with her first full week of briefings this week

Jean-Pierre replaced Jen Psaki as the White House press secretary with her first full week of briefings this week

But Jean-Pierre’s appointment also has its detractors.

Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state of Georgia, said the promotion was unwarranted due to her advocacy of ‘stolen election conspiracy theories’ following Democrat Stacey Abrams’ loss in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race. Democrats had accused Abrams’ opponent, Gov. Brian Kemp, of improperly purging voter rolls.

Raffensperger is among Republican state officials who refused to support Trump’s unfounded claims that he lost reelection in 2020 because of fraud.

At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic under Trump, Jean-Pierre said Fox News Channel was a ‘racist’ network, angering conservatives.

Jean-Pierre takes over as the White House faces an uphill battle to help Democrats hold onto the House and Senate in November’s midterm elections, and as the administration struggles to address the public’s concerns over rising consumer prices and the state of the economy.

She also steps up as Biden faces a daunting array of foreign policy challenges, including Russia’s war against Ukraine and North Korea’s escalating nuclear testing program. Biden is set to visit South Korea and Japan later this week, followed by stops in Europe in June.

Jean-Pierre is a vegetarian, former high school cross country runner and former volunteer firefighter who shares a daughter with her partner, CNN journalist Suzanne Malveaux.

At Monday’s briefing, Jean-Pierre credited ‘barrier-breaking people’ for making it possible for her to rise to one of the highest-profile jobs in American government. She counts the late David Dinkins, who was New York City’s first Black mayor, among her political mentors.

‘I stand on their shoulders. If it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me, I would not be here,’ Jean-Pierre said. ‘But I benefit from their sacrifices. I have learned from their excellence and I am forever grateful to them.’

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