Politics

CNN benches Suzanne Malveaux until Karine Jean-Pierre steps down as White House Press Secretary

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing on Friday, July 30, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing on Friday, July 30, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

CNN has moved veteran correspondent Suzanne Malveaux from her normal beat to a role that allows her to report national and international news while avoiding politics altogether until incoming White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre leaves the position.

Malveaux and Jean-Pierre are in a longterm relationship and have a daughter together.

Related: Karine Jean-Pierre spells out GOP’s strategy of using schoolkids as pawns to win elections

“Suzanne Malveaux will continue in her role as CNN National Correspondent covering national/international news and cultural events but will not cover politics, Capitol Hill, or the White House while Karine Jean-Pierre is serving as White House Press Secretary,” Matt Dornic, CNN’s spokesperson, said.

Controversy erupted after the announcement of Jean-Pierre’s promotion as critics pointed out it could be a potential conflict of interest for Malveaux to continue covering the White House while her partner spoke at the podium.

Malveaux has covered the White House and politics for 20 years with the network. She repeatedly hosted the show The Situation Room. She won multiple awards for her coverage of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the 2000 presidential election, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Jean-Pierre is the first Black person and the first out person to serve in the role.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Jean-Pierre served as Kamala Harris’s chief of staff, making her the first Black person to serve as chief of staff to a vice-presidential candidate and one of the highest-ranking LGBTQ people in the Biden/Harris campaign.

Jean-Pierre led the White House’s participation in Spirit Day last year and said it was important to her because “I could only hope that young people who might be watching or see clips of this briefing will know that they are supported and represented in the highest levels of government today.”

“To have an out queer person of color speak for the President of the United States says everything about Karine’s talent and heart, and recognizes that LGBTQ people can belong, contribute and succeed in every room,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said after the news of the promotion surfaced. “Our whole community looks forward to seeing Karine deliver for our nation and represent every LGBTQ person with pride.”

Malveaux will now serve as the network’s national correspondent, covering national and international news and cultural events.

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