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Obama Names State Dept. Spokeswoman as New Communications Director

Image source: YouTube

President Barack Obama has named State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as the new White House communications director.

Psaki, an Obama hand since 2007, replaces Jennifer Palmieri, who is leaving to work on Hillary Clinton's presumed presidential campaign.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 2 : US State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki speaks to journalists at a daily briefing in Washington, United States on October 2, 2014. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki speaks to journalists at the daily briefing in Washington, Oct. 2, 2014. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

"[Psaki] worked on both my campaigns, she's served in the White House, and she's traveled the world as an advisor to Secretary Kerry," Obama said in a statement. "I fully trust Jen – and I am thrilled she's agreed to come back to the White House as communications director.”

After working in the White House press office, Psaki moved over to the State Department two years ago, where she's been known for contentious and sometimes head-scratching exchanges with reporters, as well as blatantly evading questions. In her new role, she will have limited time before a camera, not conducting a daily press briefing.

Last year, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly criticized Psaki as being "out of her depth," prompting Psaki colleague Marie Harf to slam O'Reilly as lacking "intelligence and class."

There was initial speculation that Psaki might replace Jay Carney as press secretary, a job now occupied by Josh Earnest. As communications director, she will be in charge of all messaging coming out of the White House.

In a tweet, Psaki said she was "Honored to be rejoining the team @WhiteHouse in April, exciting two years for @BarackObama ahead. Wil miss incredible colleagues @StateDept."

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