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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Walks Out of Briefing Following Dispute with African Journalist

During Thursday’s press briefing, tensions escalated between White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Simon Ateba, a journalist from Today News Africa. Ateba, who had accused the White House of discrimination in June for not allowing him to ask questions during previous briefings, confronted Jean-Pierre about being overlooked once again.

As National Security Council spokesman John Kirby addressed another reporter’s inquiry regarding the visit of Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, Ateba sought to ask a follow-up question about Angola. However, Jean-Pierre declined to acknowledge him and turned to another reporter instead.

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Credit: DepositPhotos

Expressing his astonishment, Ateba criticized the press secretary for disregarding an African journalist while hosting an African leader. A heated exchange unfolded as Jean-Pierre threatened to end the briefing, ultimately seizing her notes and storming away from the podium. Despite attempts by other reporters to continue with their questions, Jean-Pierre firmly terminated the briefing.

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This clash was not the first between Jean-Pierre and Ateba. In June, a contentious interaction between the two led to the White House warning Ateba about potential repercussions, including the revocation of his press privileges. Jean-Pierre accused Ateba of being rude and uncooperative, with tensions reaching a boiling point as she considered ending the briefing.

Credit: DepositPhotos

In response to Ateba’s interruption, Jean-Pierre’s office issued a letter directly addressing the journalist. The letter, which Ateba shared on social media, admonished him for his behavior and reiterated the need for respectful and orderly press briefings.

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