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Karine Jean-Pierre’s Unlikely Rise to the White House Lectern

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Karine Jean-Pierre began her debut briefing as President Biden’s press secretary on Monday by acknowledging the unusual nature of her presence behind the White House lectern. “I am a Black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position,” she said.

Left unsaid were the other ways in which her path to becoming the president’s chief spokeswoman sharply diverged from that of her predecessors.

Ms. Jean-Pierre was born in the Caribbean to Haitian parents, who lived paycheck to paycheck after immigrating to New York City.

Her conservative Catholic family, she has written, carried “so many secrets, so much unexpressed pain.” As a child, Ms. Jean-Pierre was sexually abused by a cousin.

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