Psaki thanks the Bidens, journalists at final press briefing

At her final briefing as White House press secretary on Friday, an emotional Jen Psaki offered thanks to President Biden, first lady Jill Biden, her colleagues at the White House and the journalists in the press corps.

Video transcript

JEN PSAKI: You know, this is my last briefing. And it is, Brian. And I wanted to start with a series of thank yous And I promised myself I wasn't going to get emotional. Ooh, OK.

Thank you. I want to say thank you to the president and the first lady. They entrusted me in serving in this role for the last 15 months. And I've talked about this a little bit before, but during my first conversation with them, which was in November of 2020 after the election, I was very nervous when I went to see them in Delaware.

And really, what we talked about for the majority of our conversation was the importance of returning integrity, respect, and civility to the White House, the small sliver of my job here in engaging with all of you. That doesn't not mean that we haven't let our Irish side show, mine, and the president's well, from time to time. I recognize that.

But on my best days, and as I look back, I hope I followed the example of integrity and grace that they have set for all of us, and do set for all of us every day. And I'm incredibly grateful to them. I'm not going to get everyone here. But I want to thank-- there is a Biden family that is extended and expanded far beyond the Biden named family.

And that includes people who have worked with the president and for the president for many years. Ron, Anita, Bruce, Cedric, Kate, Jay, OD, [? Donnel, ?] and [? Rosetti, ?] Susan, [? Diece ?] Jake, Evan, Annie, Elizabeth Alexander. There's so many others. And the reason I mention them is because part of my job, or anyone's job in this role is to represent and talk about the policies and the work of any administration.

They have integrity, grit, commitment to trying, even on the hardest days and worst days, to make the world better for the American people, and I am very grateful to them. I'm not going to cry about the press team. Phew. OK.

Thank you to the press team. Many of them are here. Some of them are not here, because they are taking much needed days off. It has nothing to do with me personally, I promise. But you all know a lot of them. For those who don't know them, they are incredibly tough, smart, hardworking, and deeply, deeply good human beings. Deeply good public servants.

And people always ask me, and I'm sure you guys get asked this too, about whether Washington is rotten. You know, whether everybody is corrupt here, and you know, nothing good happens, and we all just argue with each other. And I, having done this job, believe the absolute opposite is true. Because I have worked with and engaged with all of these incredible people across the administration, and this amazing team, many of whom are here that I get to work with every day.

And as I said about [? Kareem ?] last week, these people are already the stars of the team, but they're going to be shining stars in the future, and I'll miss them a lot. OK. Phew. I promised myself I was going to keep it together. I'm not. This is the last part of this.

I want to thank all of you in this room. You have challenged me. You have pushed me. You have debated me. And at times, we have disagreed. That is democracy in action. That is it working. Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong, and you all play an incredibly pivotal role. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for making me better.

Most importantly, thank you for the work every day you do to make this country stronger. And I am very grateful to all of you as well. So thank you for your role, and to the role of your colleagues here and around the world.

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