White House 'reloading' with new press hires
July 23rd, 2014
10:38 AM ET
4 months ago

White House 'reloading' with new press hires

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration Wednesday announced Eric Schultz as its pick for the new principal deputy press secretary.

Schultz will now be the number two White House spokesman behind the new Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.

Earnest, who began his role in June, previously held the position. Schultz will be responsible for filling in for Earnest behind the White House podium or holding off-camera briefings with reporters aboard Air Force One from time to time.

New Press Secretary says White House is transparent

Schultz is traveling with President Barack Obama on this week's three-day fundraising trip to the West Coast and will hold his first official "gaggle" with reporters in his new role this afternoon.

Schultz is known among the DC press corps for having an assertive style. Part of his portfolio has been dealing with some of the more difficult stories the White House has faced in recent years.

He also has a strong campaign background. He served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2010 cycle, was national press secretary for John Edwards 2008 presidential campaign, helped run Al Franken's 2008 Senate campaign in Minnesota, and was a communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

The move, which was expected among the White House press corps, is part of larger regrouping as a number of aides in the White House press shop have been coming and going in recent days.

"Like other successful organizations, we're not rebuilding, we're reloading. The new members of our team are some of the brightest political communicators in the country," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "While each of them has already served the President with distinction in other roles, I'm confident they'll re-invigorate our White House team with the talent and professionalism that has been the hallmark of our operation for years and will be critical to our success as we tackle the important challenges ahead."

The White House also announced the addition of three members to the communications team. Jen Friedman, who joins the shop from the National Economic Council, will become a deputy press secretary. Frank Benenati, recently from the OMB, and Brandi Hoffine, from the Treasury Department, will both be assistant White House press secretaries.

Matt Lehrich, an assistant press secretary, will be leaving the White House soon. Dag Vega, the White House's director of broadcast media, also announced he's leaving the White House for the private sector next week.

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report

 


Filed under: Josh Earnest • White House
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Marty

    That's a lot of people to tell us the administration is smarter and knows more than the voters and congress. Oh well like Will Rogers and Obama say. "I only know what I read in the newspapers".

    July 23, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Tony D

    Paid liars wear out quickly. And with this pathological lying machine administration, they had better have a few more lined up as replacements.

    July 23, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Hector Slagg

    Aw, So,
    The Titanic has sailed. We are now Re-Arranging the Deck Chairs. The Natives are Restless. The "Entertainment" is getting a bit Bland. Aw, more decorations. That should hold 'em!! Strike up the band !!!

    July 23, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    These are the propagandists for the regime. To simplify that, for those who don't understand it.........they are the new liars, for the dictator.

    July 23, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. smith1

    who can we get to replace you tony?????

    July 23, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Nancy Pill-Owe-Me

    Now that harassing reporters is an acceptable practice, spying is the 'new norm', and the IRS is now a political weapon, the Obama Administration needs to crush the 'free' press and create a "new voice" for the press:
    – have the NSA monitor all reporter communication. If someone steps out of line, destroy them with an IRS audit.

    – Obama will no longer be caught off guard by learning about a crisis "by reading the news"

    – the new Presidential Press Secretary will control the dialog rather than deal with pesky fact-finding reporters.

    You all wanted 'Change', right?

    July 23, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Rick McDaniel
    These are the propagandists for the regime. To simplify that, for those who don't understand it.........they are the new liars, for the dictator.
    -------------
    As a life lesson, perhaps you could travel to N.Korea and rant about the propaganda of the regime.
    If you come back, you will have learned what a real oppressive regime is like.
    And perhaps be a little grateful to live in this land of ours.

    July 23, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "As a life lesson, perhaps you could travel to N.Korea and rant about the propaganda of the regime.
    If you come back, you will have learned what a real oppressive regime is like."

    I'd prefer he just stayed there. I can haz?

    July 23, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Lily

    Brilliant move for picking up Eric Schultz. Those reporters who used to shoot out questions expecting that you won't get the right and quick answer, now you have really got someone. Eric is quite smart and his answers comes twice a speed as questions shot to him.

    July 23, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    @TonyD, where we're you when Bush lied and drained national treasury on WMD. Don't rant on racial bias.

    July 23, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Thomas

    @Rick McDaniel
    These are the propagandists for the regime. To simplify that, for those who don't understand it.........they are the new liars, for the dictator.
    ============

    Who said we will be created as liberators in Iraq ?
    Ari Fleischer , Dana Perino , Tony Snow , Scott McClellan ?

    Please rick , refresh my memory

    July 23, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    -why didn't they kill Bin Laden? Why did they give billions to Pakistan? Why didn't they find WMD? Why didn't they pass Jobs-Bill? Where is Halliburton contract money? Nation knew it needed Healthcare Law, why didn't they pass? Answer any one of these instead ranting on black president. I think we need women president next.

    July 23, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Breach of trust and outright deceit wears on the soul so they have to have a deep bench.

    July 23, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:

    These are the propagandists for the regime. To simplify that, for those who don't understand it.........they are the new liars, for the dictator.
    ------------------------
    What was Karl Rove's job called again? Oh, yeah, Bush's Brain, but was the official title? "Demonizer"

    July 23, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. anonymous

    He also has a strong campaign background. He served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2010 cycle, was national press secretary for John Edwards 2008 presidential campaign, helped run Al Franken's 2008 Senate campaign in Minnesota, and was a communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
    --

    well, he's got a lot of experiencing lying for some of the biggest leftist losers on the planet! hiring a john edwards guy huh? must be real slim pickens out there these days given the number of obama failures and disasters that need to be lied about, covered up and distracted from.

    July 23, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    anonymous

    He also has a strong campaign background. He served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2010 cycle, was national press secretary for John Edwards 2008 presidential campaign, helped run Al Franken's 2008 Senate campaign in Minnesota, and was a communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
    -

    well, he's got a lot of experiencing lying for some of the biggest leftist losers on the planet! hiring a john edwards guy huh? must be real slim pickens out there these days given the number of obama failures and disasters that need to be lied about, covered up and distracted from.
    ==============================================================
    In order to be a conservative politician, or TV analyst, you must be able to talk and smile at the same time. it is an highly prized skill. It is most adeptly performed by one Bill Kristol. Bill's the grandmaster at it.

    It needs a name. Hmm. Smiling and Lying. "Smilying"? No, no. I'll think of something.

    July 23, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Dean

    Principal Duputy Liar.

    July 23, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Sniffin

    I wonder why they only hire white guys as their paid liars? Are there any qualified black liars?

    July 23, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. just asking

    Rudy NYC
    It needs a name. Hmm. Smiling and Lying. "Smilying"? No, no. I'll think of something.
    ---

    people can now use the term lie and obama interchangeably... did you obama to them? no, it was just a little white obama. yes, works perfectly.

    July 23, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. MH17 down tragedy..

    Napoleon had his Waterloo..

    Hopefully Russia's involvement in the MH17 tragedy will be Putin's undoing.

    Deny, deny ..does the world really believe Putin's denials?

    What about Georgia..when Putin's Russia denied while invading and stole sovereign land from the Georgian Nation.

    Deny, deny..does the world really believe Putin's denials?

    What about while in denial of the take over of Ukraine's Crimea and Putin signed in a mock ceremony making his theft official?

    Deny, deny...does the world really believe Putin's denials?

    What about of the massing of Russian troops along the Ukraine border. Invading part of Ukraine yet again and is in the process of stealing more land from the sovereign Ukraine Nation.?

    And not the MH17 down tragedy?...Putin cannot really deny away..."This is Putin's Waterloo!

    Putin, like most bullies when confronted turn out to be the biggest cowards.

    "Lets confront !!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    @Tommy G, if your original remarks regarding the ACA had been anything but canned Right-wing talking points, you would have gotten a better response. Clearly, nothing you post is anything more than that, and if you were presented with data to refute your argument, would you have accepted it? I doubt it. I have not seen one post from you that has not been anything more than propaganda, so please stop with playing the victim because your " points" are a joke. You don't want a discussion, just validation.

    July 23, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. salty dog

    We wanted change, you betcha, and we got it, stock market, housing market, both changed a lot since he took over, bin laden dead, we wanted that too, what did the gop give us, citizens united, government shutdown, more filibusters than the entire existence of our government before that, 230 years. Oh yeah more tax breaks for the rich, held hostage, again, if your not willing to see these for what they are, you deserve the crappy life voting gop inherently brings.

    July 23, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    @ just asking, I seem to remember Romney had a little problem with the truth, beginning with how he went after his opponents in the General Election 2 years ago. No, if there is a gold standard of lying, the Right has set it, and continues with it to this day. I'm actually hoping the GOP does gain control of Congress, so everyone can see the Right's real agenda: Nothing.

    July 23, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. freedom

    Empty suits.

    July 23, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    Rudy NYC
    It needs a name. Hmm. Smiling and Lying. "Smilying"? No, no. I'll think of something.
    -

    people can now use the term lie and obama interchangeably... did you obama to them? no, it was just a little white obama. yes, works perfectly.
    ===============================================================
    What's the matter with you? Sticking up for Bill Kristol? Real Tom makes a good point, though.
    "Did you "mitt" them?" "It was just a little white "mitt"." Yeah, that works even better. :)

    July 23, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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