Pentagon spox John Kirby joining White House comms team for senior role: Report

The Washington Post alleged on Thursday that Kirby will be heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for a “senior” role but that his “exact title and role remain unclear,” per two sources with knowledge of the move.

The Post’s reporting indicates Kirby would make “regular appearances at the daily press briefing,” though some indicated he would not be sharing duties with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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“Kirby is expected to be heavily involved in White House communications, including working closely with the National Security Council,” the Post wrote. “Kirby, who has served as the top spokesperson for the Defense Department since the start of the administration, has impressed White House officials with his briefings, particularly in recent months as Russia has invaded Ukraine.”

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a news briefing at the Pentagon on March 09, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. Kirby spoke on various topics including Russia’s invasion to Ukraine. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a news briefing at the Pentagon on March 09, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. Kirby spoke on various topics including Russia’s invasion to Ukraine. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The latest White House shakeup came just days after Jean-Pierre was officially elevated as President Biden’s new press secretary following last week’s exit of Jen Psaki, who is set to join MSNBC as an on-air contributor and host on the Peacock streaming service. 

Some critics have said Jean-Pierre is off to a rocky start, pointing to an exchange she had on Monday with Fox News’ Peter Doocy about a tweet Biden made suggesting higher taxes on wealthy corporations is the answer to combat inflation. 

“Are you talking about a specific tweet?” Jean-Pierre asked Doocy after flipping through the pages of her binder. 

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“He tweeted, ‘You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,'” Doocy read Biden’s tweet. 

“Well, you know, we have talked about — we have talked about this this past year about making sure that the wealthiest among us are paying their fair share,” Jean-Pierre responded. “And that is important to do. And that is something that, you know, the president has been, you know, working on everyday when we talk about inflation and lowering costs. And so it’s very important that, you know, as we’re seeing costs rise, as we’re talking about how to, you know, you know, build America that safe and that’s equal for everyone and doesn’t leave anyone behind. That is an important part of that as well.”

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 speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

When pressed how raising taxes on corporations will lower costs on things like gas and food, Jean-Pierre pointed to efforts to pass a “fairer tax code” so that ordinary Americans aren’t paying higher taxes “than the folks who are not paying taxes at all.”

The Biden administration is beginning to brace for a brutal midterm election cycle as Republicans are expected to retake the House and potentially the Senate. 

The messaging from the White House has hit some roadblocks in recent weeks with an effort to blame soaring inflation and gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, pushing a “Putin’s Price Hike” narrative despite how both were becoming issues for the Biden administration months before the global conflict.

Earlier in May, President Biden rolled out a new insult for Republicans, referring to them as “ultra-MAGA,” an alteration to former President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. 

While Psaki claimed the new moniker was created by the president, the Washington Post since revealed it was the result of a six-month liberal-funded focus group project. 

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