Jay Carney

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Jay Carney
Jay Carney on April 5, 2011.jpg
Former White House Press Secretary
In office
February 11, 2011-May 30, 2014
Base salary$172,200 (2013)
Elections and appointments
AppointedJanuary 27, 2011
Appointed byBarack Obama
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Director of Communications to Joe Biden
High schoolThe Lawrenceville School
Bachelor'sYale University
BirthdayMay 22, 1965
Place of birthWashington, D.C.
James "Jay" Carney (b. May 22, 1965, in Washington, D.C.) was formerly the White House Press Secretary for President Barack Obama. He was selected to succeed Robert Gibbs by President Obama on January 27, 2011.[1] Carney stepped down from the position on May 30, 2014, and was replaced by his deputy press secretary Josh Earnest.[2]

Carney began his professional career as a journalist before becoming Joe Biden's director of communications in 2009.[1]


Carney was raised in Northern Virginia and attended the Lawrenceville School before graduating with a degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Yale University.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Carney's academic, professional and political career:[3][4]

  • 1987: Graduated from Yale University
  • 1987-1988: Reporter with the Miami Herald
  • 1988-1990: Journalist for Time magazine
  • 1990-1993: Time magazine foreign correspondent to Russia
  • 1993-2003: Time magazine White House correspondent
  • 2003-2005: Time magazine deputy Washington bureau chief
  • 2005-2009: Time magazine Washington bureau chief
  • 2009-2011: Director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden
  • 2011-2014: White House Press Secretary



On October 15, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed responsibility for the security of the diplomatic mission to Libya that was attacked on September 11, 2012. The attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.[5] A State Department employee, Eric Nordstrom, claimed at a congressional hearing on October 11, that his request for more security to be present in Libya was denied by his superiors prior to the attack.[6] Clinton was also under fire because of the initial classification of the attack by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice as a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim video instead of a planned terrorist attack.[5] On December 19, the State Department announced the forced leave of four officials after an independent report was produced suggesting the officials "showed a lack of ownership of Benghazi's security issues."[7] Clinton was summoned before congressional committees on January 23 to testify on her knowledge of the attack. During the heated testimony, Clinton said of the requests for more security, "I didn't see those requests. They didn't come to me."[8]

On August 20, 2013, the State Department announced the reassignment of the four officials placed on leave. Representative Darrell Issa responded by stating, "Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll."[9] Following the conclusion of a State Department investigation into Benghazi on September 16, Issa was not satisfied with the findings and stated, "We can certainly have Mrs. Clinton back; our view is that we need to get to the facts."[10]

In January 2014, Clinton called the attack her biggest regret. She said, "It was a terrible tragedy losing four Americans -- two diplomats and now it is public so I can say two C.I.A. operatives. You make these choices based on imperfect information. But that doesn't mean that there's not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns."[11]

New document

On May 2, 2014, newly released documents from the White House led Issa to accuse the president of withholding the documents about the talking points used by Rice, stating, "It’s disturbing, and perhaps criminal, that these documents were kept from the public. It comes in a week in which the American people have learned that you cannot believe what the White House says…and you cannot believe what the president says."[12] The document, an email from deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes went to, among others in the administration, White House Press Secretary Carney. The email was meant to prep Rice for a media appearance, urging her "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy," as well as instructing her "to reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."[13] Carney disputed that the statements originated with the administration, claiming, "The only thing that refers to Benghazi is a cut-and-paste which, much to your disappointment and your boss’ disappointment, turned out to be produced by the CIA."[12]

Republican members of Congress fired back in response to Carney's dismissal of the email. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) stated, "[T]his White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to mislead, obstruct and obscure what actually took place…this White House been callously dismissive of our efforts to get answers."[12] Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also spoke out about Carney, saying, "He has destroyed his own reputation by that statement that clearly was the talking points, which had nothing to do but Benghazi, saying it had nothing to do with Benghazi. That, to me, is an all-time low for a presidential spokesperson."[14]

Gowdy committee

On May 8, 2014, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was chosen to lead a special committee investigating the attack in Benghazi and the administration's actions regarding the attack. The committee was made up of seven Republicans and five democrats.[15] When asked if the State Department would comply with the committee's requests, Kerry stated, "We’ll respond because we have absolutely nothing to hide whatsoever and I look forward to complying with whatever responsibilities we have."[16]

The twelve members named to the Gowdy committee were:[17][18]


Carney is married to Claire Shipman of Good Morning America with whom he has two children. He also plays in a rock band.[3]

Recent news

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN, "Jay Carney named White House press secretary," January 27, 2011
  2. Politico, "Jay Carney resigns, deputy Josh Earnest named replacement," May 31, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. News and World Report, "10 Things You Didn't Know About Jay Carney," February 7, 2011
  4. BBC, "James Carney: Profile of White House press secretary," January 27, 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 CNN, "Clinton: I'm responsible for diplomats' security," October 16, 2012
  6. CNN, "U.S. official says superiors worked against effort to boost Benghazi," October 11, 2012
  7. New York Times, "4 Are Out at State Dept. After Scathing Report on Benghazi Attack," December 19, 2012
  8. CNN, "Clinton takes on Benghazi critics, warns of more security threats," January 24, 2012
  9. Huffington Post, "State Department Officials Reassigned After Leave Related To Benghazi Attacks," August 20, 2013
  10. Politico, "Darrell Issa: I can call Hillary Clinton back," September 18, 2013
  11. Political Wire, "Clinton Calls Benghazi Attack Her Biggest Regret," accessed January 28, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Politico, "Benghazi returns to the spotlight," May 1, 2014
  13. Politico, "Charles Krauthammer on Benghazi emails," April 30, 2014
  14. Politico, "John McCain: Jay Carney at an 'all-time low'," May 5, 2014
  15. Roll Call, "Republicans’ Benghazi Panel Appointments Likely Friday," May 8, 2014
  16. Politico, "John Kerry: I’ll comply with House GOP’s Benghazi request," May 6, 2014
  17. The Washington Post, "Democrats appoint 5 members to Benghazi select committee," May 21, 2014
  18. Talking Points Memo, "These 7 Republicans Will Serve On The Benghazi Select Committee," May 9, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Gibbs
White House Press Secretary
Succeeded by
Josh Earnest