First lady Jill Biden’s press secretary is stepping down this week, continuing the high turnover among the White House’s communications staff as messaging becomes a dire issue for the president.
Michael LaRosa, who served as the first lady’s spokesman in 2019 during the campaign and was appointed press secretary in January 2021, will join public affairs firm Hamilton Place Strategies as a managing director, CNN first reported on Tuesday.
“For nearly three years, from the campaign to the White House, Michael has brought an encyclopedic knowledge of politics and media to my team as my spokesperson and adviser,” Jill Biden told the outlet.
“On a small team, loyalty and friendship are lifelong – we will miss Michael. However, we are excited for him to begin a new chapter in his career,” she said.
LaRosa’s last day will be Friday.
“For a kid from Easton, Pennsylvania, who only ever dreamed of stepping foot into this history-rich residence for a tour, working for First Lady Jill Biden in the White House has been the proudest and most rewarding experience of my life,” LaRosa said in a series of Twitter posts.
”From long drives in minivans, jumping on and off planes, and ‘No Malarkey’ busses on the campaign to traveling to 10 countries, nearly 40 states, and over 75 cities in the first year and a half of the Biden-Harris Administration, on Friday, I will be moving on to a new adventure,” he said.
LaRosa’s departure comes on the heels of resignations from White House press secretary Jen Psaki and communications director Kate Bedingfield.
Meanwhile, Karine Jean-Pierre, who replaced Psaki, has had a rough couple of months fielding questions in the White House briefing room.
Politico reported that critics have said her answers to questions have “baffled reporters, and even made some of her White House colleagues wince.”
“She is so focused on not making a mistake that she doesn’t let herself speak freely,” one reporter said. “A lot of her responses end up becoming … it appears that she’s reading from a page.”
Around the time Jean-Pierre took over for Psaki in mid-May, former Pentagon spokesman John Kirby shifted roles to fill a senior communications job at the White House.
The changes are also affecting the staff of Vice President Kamala Harris.
At least 13 key staffers for Harris have left since the Biden administration entered the White House, including chief of staff Tina Flournoy and chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders.
Reporting from The New York Post.