White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was discreetly awarded an ethics waiver allowing her to work with CNN despite the fact that her partner, Suzanne Malveaux, is employed by the network as a national correspondent.
The Post Millennial reported about the conflict of interest on May 6th as Jean-Pierre and Malveaux are married, live together, and are raising a young child.
Part of the White House Press Secretary's official duties are to fairly call on journalists in the briefing room and appear on television networks without prejudice.
The couples' intimacy appropriately birthed questions of impartiality between the new Press Secretary and the high profile reporter.
The news came almost immediately after the May 5th announcement that then Deputy Press Secretary Jean-Pierre would replace White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Months prior, Psaki had announced that she intended to leave the White House to work for MSNBC. Jean-Pierre had previously worked for MSNBC before working at the White House.
According to The Daily Mail, the Code of Federal Regulations "requires employees to seek authorization in cases where their work might impact on the finances of a member of their household and where a reasonable person might 'question [their] impartiality in the matter.'"
The White House released a memo on May 16th granting Jean-Pierre the ethics authorization. White House lawyer Dana Remus said that CNN informed the Biden Administration that Jean-Pierre's partner would not be covering the White House and concluded there was no conflict of interest.
The memo reads, "In light of these circumstances, the government's interest in allowing you [Jean-Pierre] to communicate with CNN about matters of public interest outweighs any concerns about the integrity of the White House's programs and operations being called into question.
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