Psaki to Chris Wallace: ‘Normal’ to ‘engage’ next career stop while still in government

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN host Chris Wallace this week it is perfectly normal for her to pursue future employment opportunities while serving in government.

During an appearance Wednesday on his recently debuted talk program on CNN’s new streaming channel, Wallace asked Psaki about an ethics complaint made against her regarding comments she has made about a Fox News journalist, and media reports on her inking a cable news job once she leaves President Biden’s White House.

“What I will tell you, Chris, and you know this from covering White Houses in the past, there are certain requirements of anybody who’s serving. If you are talking to or engaging, thinking about any future employment, which is normal. That’s a — what nearly everybody does who at some point will leave the White House,” Psaki said.

“I have gone over and above those requirements. I’ve received full counseling from the counsel’s office and I will continue to do that throughout my time here at the White House.”

Wallace was referencing a letter to White House counsel Dana Remus this week, from an organization called Protect the People’s Trust, alleging that she had violated ethical codes by “disparaging” Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy.

The group also suggested in its letter that Psaki’s reported deal to become a host and analyst on MSNBC raises a conflict of interest.

Psaki did not confirm reports of her upcoming gig at the network when pressed by Wallace.

“I have nothing to announce about what’s next,” she said. “I’m going to sleep at some point when I leave. I’m going to maybe read some fiction books. I’m going to spend time with my family.”  

There is long-standing precedent for former government officials taking jobs in media, lobbying and public affairs after leaving public service. Kayleigh McEnany, the last person to hold Psaki’s job under former President Trump, took a gig with Fox News Channel as a contributor and analyst soon after leaving the White House.

The director of Protect the People’s Trust is a former Trump administration official.

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