White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield pulled a last-minute about-face, announcing that she will stay at her current post after she was scheduled to depart the White House Friday.
Bedingfield made the announcement of her sudden change of plans in a note to colleagues Friday afternoon. She was originally scheduled to leave last Friday, but her departure was postponed for a week after President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID. Bedingfield announced her intention to leave the White House earlier this month.
NBC News White House correspondent Mike Memoli broke the story Friday. “NEW: @WHCommsDir has agreed to remain in her post,” Memoli tweeted. “@POTUS and [White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain] both had asked her to stay on and she agreed. Original plan to depart last week was extended by a week when Biden tested positive.”
Memoli said that Bedingfield would still follow through on August vacation plans she had already made, but she would remain on staff for the foreseeable future.
“After much thought, discussion and reflection, I’ve decided to stay,” Bedingfield wrote in the note, which was obtained by Washington Post White House reporter Tyler Pager. “I’m not done here and there is so much more good work to do with all of you. I couldn’t be happier and more excited about this awesome — if admittedly last-minute! — development,” she wrote. “The work is too important and too energizing and I have a lot of gas left in the tank.”
“I could not be more grateful to be a part of this team,” Bedingfield added. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime crew in a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and I am so proud to be a part of it. You guys mean the world to me. So — I’m excited that this isn’t me sending you a sappy ‘this is my last day’ note — and so excited for all that is to come.”
Bedingfield confirmed the news on her official Twitter account. “A massive thank you to everyone (every. one.) who endured listening to me wax on about how I regretted my decision to leave,” she wrote. “There’s so much more to do and I’m so proud and grateful to be part of this team. Onward!”
Bedingfield previously announced her decision to leave the White House Communications staff in early July, after serving as Biden’s commuications director for more than 3 and a half years. Bedingfield was originally Biden’s communications director during his time as vice president. She joined Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, serving as his comms director and deputy campaign manager. She kept that position when Biden took office, and played a key role in every public relations effort as head of the White House Communications Department.
“Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House, the Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Law might still be unrealized goals, and Ketanji Brown Jackson might not be sitting on the Supreme Court,” Klain said in the press release announcing her initial departure. “She has played a huge role in everything the President has achieved — from his second term as Vice President, through the campaign, and since coming to the White House. Her strategic acumen, intense devotion to the President’s agenda, and fierce work on his behalf are unmatched.”