Biden national security voice John Kirby gets expanded role

By Thomson Reuters Feb 11, 2024 | 3:51 PM

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Kirby, President Joe Biden’s top national security spokesperson, is getting a promotion and an expanded role at the White House, a U.S. official told Reuters on Sunday.

Kirby, who in past years has served as the top spokesperson at both the Pentagon and the State Department, will have a new title – White House national security communications adviser – and will be elevated to an assistant to the president from deputy assistant.

He will be in charge of communications coordination for national security across a variety of agencies, the official said.

Kirby has been one of the most visible faces of the Biden White House, frequently joining the podium for briefings alongside press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to brief on national security issues, particularly since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel’s subsequent attack on Gaza.

His appearances in the briefing room will continue, the official said.

Kirby, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, has been the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications since he was brought over from the Pentagon in 2022.

Under the new structure he will hire a small staff tasked with helping him synchronize the administration’s messaging on national security issues, in addition to daily press activities.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Mark Porter)