Former President Bill Clinton and the Democrat establishment on Thursday contradicted Vice President Kamala Harris’s staffers who “feel treated like s***’ and work in an “abusive environment.”
The internal “frustration” is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’s chief of staff, who White House staffers say has a “reputation” for being “extreme” and for “refusing to delegate and second-guessing other staffers.”
But after the initial report, Clinton and the Democrat establishment are coming out in droves to protect Flournoy and ultimately Harris.
Clinton told CNBC:
Tina Flournoy ran my office for more than eight years, making it more efficient, effective, and transparent. She made it easier, not harder, for me to advance my philanthropic work and my post-presidential activities, and keep in touch with my friends
She has a unique ability to focus on the big picture and adapt to changing conditions. And she does it all with a great sense of humor and an unwavering belief that we all have an ability and an obligation to make a difference. She’s an extraordinary person, and I’m so fortunate and forever grateful to have had her as my chief of staff.
Clinton’s spokesman, Matt McKenna, who worked with Flournoy, also praised her for “helping create a much-needed structure for Clinton’s office.”
“I think Tina put some much needed structure and guardrails around that operation and I’m grateful for it,” McKenna told CNBC.
The individual responsible for introducing Flournoy to Harris, Minyon Moore, who also worked in the White House during Clinton’s term tweeted, “Tina Flournoy is focused, disciplined, & the person I would want by my side.”
.@VP many understand the task before you & your team. #TinaFlournoy is focused, disciplined, & the person I would want by my side. For anyone who believes this journey is easy, please
think long & hard about what the Biden-Harris Administration walked into day 1. UNPRECEDENTED
— MinyonM. (@IamMinyon) July 1, 2021
Multiple other allies, as CNBC reports, tweeted their support of Flournoy.
Ex-Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton aide Jennifer Palmieri tweeted, “Chiefs of staff gotta run interference. Doesn’t always make you popular. But it’s part of the job. Protect the boss’ time.”
Hm. Sounds like what’s happening here is that Tina Flournoy is doing her job. Chiefs of staff gotta run interference.
Doesn’t always make you popular. But it’s part of the job. Protect the boss’ time. https://t.co/9uRG5fLLxA
— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) June 29, 2021
And Steven Law, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ex-chief of staff, also tweeted, “whiners… need to get a life.”
I carry no brief for the VP, but Tina Flournoy is obviously doing her job and these whiners need to get a life. Welcome to the White House. https://t.co/pMXORLgnEj
— Steven Law (@LawAmericanX) June 30, 2021
A White House staffer told Politico Wednesday that Harris’s office is place of “short fuses and it’s an abusive environment” due to Flournoy blaming “staffers for the negative results that ensue.”
“It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—,” the person added.
Flournoy is not the only target of the staffers’ ire, with them also telling Politico that Harris “bears responsibility for the way her office is run.”
“It all starts at the top,” said one aide. Politico first reported:
In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out.
But the infighting has apparently attracted the attention of “the president’s own team” who “are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated,” noting two top staffers, Karly Satkowiak and Gabrielle DeFranceschi, have left Harris’s office.
The conflict seems to have escalated when former President Trump announced he would inspect the border, a responsibility Harris has fumbled after being given the responsibility by President Joe Biden in March.