In a significant moment, Olivia Dalton, the Principal White House deputy press secretary and a potential successor to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, made her debut in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. Dalton, who joined the White House last summer after serving as U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s communications director, has previously interacted informally with reporters aboard Air Force One on multiple occasions.
During her appearance, Dalton shared the podium with National Economic Director Lael Brainard, who has held her position since February, marking her own debut in the briefing room. Although Dalton relied minimally on her briefing book and worked under Jean-Pierre, she did not evade tough questions, facing inquiries about Hunter Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, even if she refrained from providing direct answers.
In response to questions regarding Hunter Biden and his involvement, Dalton pointed out that every president in U.S. history has invited their family to state dinners, emphasizing that the current president is no exception. Her remarks suggested that President Biden’s family should be afforded the same considerations as those of his predecessors.
Dalton’s appearance represents a continuation of the Biden administration’s commitment to engaging with the press and ensuring transparency. While she faced challenging queries, her presence demonstrated the administration’s willingness to address pressing concerns, albeit without delving into specific details.
As Dalton takes on a more prominent role within the White House communications team, her debut in the briefing room serves as an opportunity for her to establish her own rapport with the press and provide a glimpse into the administration’s approach to addressing inquiries on various topics, including family involvement and policy matters.