Democrats have been openly critical of the Biden team’s communications strategy in recent weeks and months. Longtime Biden aide Anita Dunn recently returned to the White House as a senior adviser and is working to strengthen the operation.
Bedingfield is a longtime Biden aide who helped guide the campaign through a tough primary race. She served in a similar capacity for Biden when he was vice president in 2015 and was his deputy campaign manager and communications director during the 2020 run. He mostly operated behind the scenes with ties across the Democratic Party.
As Psaki’s departure approached, Bedingfield took on an increasingly public-facing role, including holding daily press conferences while both Psaki and Karine Jean-Pierre had Covid-19.
His gentleness in that role led to talk that he would be in line for the post of press secretary, which would represent a demotion. The gig eventually went to Saki’s top deputy, Jean-Pierre.
After news of Bedingfield’s departure broke, senior administration officials weighed in on the aide’s impact on shaping the administration over the past years and his influence on recent national events.
“Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House, the bailout and infrastructure legislation might still be unfulfilled goals, and Katanji Brown Jackson might not be sitting on the Supreme Court,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said in a statement. “He played a big part in everything the president accomplished.”
Klein noted that the communications director “will be an important player” in Biden’s network, working from the outside.
When Bedingfield steps down at the end of July, she plans to spend time with her husband and young children, the statement said. The departure marks the end of his three-year tenure leading Biden’s communications team.
Matt Berg contributed to this report.