White House makes history with deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

She said Biden believes representation matters and appreciated the opportunity.

May 26, 2021, 6:24 PM

The White House made history Wednesday when Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy press secretary for the White House, briefed reporters on behalf of the president.

Jean-Pierre is the first Black woman in decades and the first openly gay spokesperson in history to stand behind the podium in that capacity.

PHOTO: White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answers questions during her first daily White House press briefing, May 26, 2021.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answers questions during her first daily White House press briefing May 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jean-Pierre answered a range of questions during the briefing including the status of infrastructure negotiations and a recent announced 90-day investigation by the U.S. intelligence communities into the origins of the coronavirus. Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay spokeswoman and second Black woman to give the briefing.
Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

"A bit of a personal question," ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Mary Bruce asked during Wednesday's press briefing. "Your presence here today is making history. You're the first Black woman to stand behind that podium speaking on behalf of the president in 30 years. Just wondering if you could share your reflections with us?"

"Well, thank you for the question," Jean-Pierre responded.

She said she appreciated the historic nature of the moment, but said that being behind the podium and working at the White House is "not about one person," but what they do on behalf of Americans.

"Clearly, the president believes in representation matters. And I appreciate him giving me this opportunity," she said. "And it's another reason why I think we're all so proud that this is the most diverse administration in history. But again, this is not about me, this is not about any of us."

PHOTO: White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for a press briefing at the White House, May 26, 2021.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for a press briefing at the White House, May 26, 2021.
Evan Vucci/AP

The first Black woman to address journalists in the press briefing room was Judy Smith, a deputy press secretary for President George H.W. Bush, in 1991.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events