Obama picks State Department’s Psaki as communications aide

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki will become President Barack Obama’s new communications director, filling a key slot as Obama embarks on the final two years of his presidency, White House officials said Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

She replaces veteran Democratic media strategist Jennifer Palmieri, who is leaving the White House to join Hillary Rodham Clinton’s likely presidential campaign. Psaki will step into her new role April 1.

In a statement, Mr. Obama embraced Palmieri as a “good friend” and praised her as a “brilliant and effective communications director and trusted adviser.”

“I’d say Jen is irreplaceable — if Jen Psaki hadn’t agreed to step in,” the president said. “I fully trust Jen — and I am thrilled she’s agreed to come back to the White House as communications director.”

Psaki will be returning to the White House where she helped craft President Obama’s message during his first term. She has been part of his team since 2007, when she was traveling press secretary during his first presidential campaign.

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