The State Department deputy spokeswoman who called police the "largest threat to U.S. national security" is leaving her job after a 16-month stint that was marred by public gaffes and internal battles with her colleagues.
Jalina Porter will "transition out" of her job as the State Department’s number-two public face, spokesman Ned Price announced in a press release late Monday. It is unclear if Porter, who has a history of anti-cop rhetoric and reportedly clashed with career State Department officials, is shifting elsewhere in the Biden administration or exiting.
Porter entered the role under a cloud of controversy after the Washington Free Beacon unearthed a series of social media posts in which she claimed the "largest threat to U.S. national security are U.S. cops; Not ISIS, not Russian hackers, not anyone or anything else." In other posts obtained by the Free Beacon, Porter said, "I'm so tired of terrorist cops" and promoted a video directed at the Los Angeles Police Department that states, "Suck my dick and choke on it."
While Porter apologized for her remarks, which were made before she entered public office, it came to light that she clashed with career State Department officials who viewed her as unprepared for press briefings and prone to make policy gaffes that caused diplomatic headaches. State Department and diplomatic insiders who spoke to the Free Beacon said it is strange for the department to announce the departure of a top official without stating what her next role will be.
"Jalina was never a good fit and was in over her head from the beginning," one State Department source, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters, told the Free Beacon. "On that, I blame the woke crowd that made the hiring decision without regard to actual qualifications or experience."
"Needless to say," the source added, "career staff will be relieved to not have to deal with her temperament and abuse. A lot of credit goes to the Free Beacon for exposing her poor treatment of colleagues and staff."
A senior congressional source familiar with State Department debates over Porter told the Free Beacon that the State Department’s lack of clarity on Porter’s future hints that she could have problems finding employment elsewhere in the administration.
"It's clear they don't want to admit publicly what everyone already knows: Jalina was unqualified, blamed everyone else for her repeated gaffes, and alienated everyone in the building," said the source, who would only discuss these conversations on background. "A statement like this is almost unheard of and it's a blaring red siren to the rest of the administration that she has very few options for transferring for very good reasons."
Porter’s most recent misstep came in May—less than a month before the State Department announced her resignation—when she offered herself up as a cohost on the daytime talk show The View via an Instagram post sent during the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
"On the Black Moon Solar Eclipse in Taurus, it's time to make some manifestations," Porter wrote from her personal account, glamonthehill, in a post that was later removed. "I see me being a co-host on @theviewabc in my near future. Send me good vibes and lots of love, y'all."
Government ethics experts who spoke to the Free Beacon said it was inappropriate for Porter to use her standing as a public official to solicit a television job. Porter later told the Free Beacon that her post "was intended as a light-hearted, personal social media post and nothing more." A State Department official said the post does not violate its ethical guidelines.
Porter struggled at times to answer questions from reporters, most notably in October 2021, when she claimed that the Biden administration was engaged in discussions related to "Palestine." The verbal slip-up stunned career State Department officials who said Porter upended decades of long-standing U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by making reference to "Palestine," which does not exist and is not used as a term by the U.S. diplomatic community.
The State Department was forced to walk back her comments after the Free Beacon reported the gaffe, saying, "There is no change to our policy" on the issue.
As the policy blunder fueled chatter in the foreign policy community, a career State Department official who works on these issues told the Free Beacon that Porter’s inexperience was causing internal strife.
"She often goes off script from established policy and agreed upon talking points, causing gaffes that confuse allies and journalists alike," the source said at the time. "Career State Department staff have grown increasingly frustrated, as we are often the ones having to clean up after her verbal messes. It's gotten to the point where the building doesn't know what to do with her or how to help her."
In a May 2021 dust-up, Porter singled out Israel for criticism after unverified and later discredited reports alleged that Jewish settlers set fire to Palestinian farmlands. Asked about the comment during a State Department briefing, Porter said it is "critical for Israel to refrain from any unilateral steps that certainly would exacerbate tensions or take us further away from peace"—a statement that appeared to break with longstanding U.S. policy urging all sides in the conflict to move toward peace.
The State Department also walked back those remarks.
Porter previously served as an aide in the congressional office of former representative Cedric Richmond, who served as a top White House adviser until last month. Porter also worked for the Truman National Security Project, a left-leaning foreign policy think tank.
Published under: State Department