White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's longtime partner, CNN journalist Suzanne Malveaux, is leaving the news channel, weakening the liberal network's extensive ties to the Biden administration.
Malveaux, a 20-year CNN veteran who most recently served as the network's national correspondent, announced the departure Friday morning, writing in a memo to her colleagues that she plans to pursue her "long-desired professional passions" such as "social justice." Malveaux's relationship with Jean-Pierre raised ethical questions, which the White House avoided addressing publicly. President Joe Biden's legal counsel quietly gave Jean-Pierre a waiver allowing her to work with CNN as White House press secretary.
While Malveaux's decision to leave CNN diminishes the liberal outlet's deep connections to the Biden White House, the connections remain alive and well through Executive Vice President of Editorial Virginia Moseley, whose husband serves as Biden's ambassador to Israel.
CNN has undergone widespread changes under CEO Chris Licht, who took over the network in April amid declines in revenue and viewership. Licht quickly fired media reporter Brian Stelter, and both chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and White House correspondent John Harwood departed CNN in the first six months of Licht's tenure.
The White House elevated Jean-Pierre to press secretary in May, when her predecessor, Jen Psaki, left to join top CNN competitor MSNBC. Prior to her stint in the Biden administration, Jean-Pierre spent years as an anti-Israel activist, having served as senior adviser and national spokeswoman for MoveOn.org, a far-left anti-Israel group that works to boycott the Jewish state. During Jean-Pierre's time at MoveOn, the group defended far-left Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) from accusations of anti-Semitism.
Jean-Pierre and Malveaux live together in Washington, D.C., with their eight-year-old daughter. It is unclear if they are married.