Four senior staffers have reportedly abandoned Vice President Kamala Harris in less than one month’s time.
The staffers have either resigned or plan to leave their positions amid “disorder, bad press, and, at times, internal frictions,” Politico analyzed. The conflicts began in July, when Harris’s staffers leaked inner clashes to the establishment media, suggesting the vice president’s office has “treated [them] like shit” in an “abusive environment.”
Other staffers have revealed their frustration that “white man” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s potential 2024 presidential bid is “disrespectful” to their boss, though Buttigieg has downplayed his ambitions.
Buttigieg will likely benefit from President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package as a key power broker in Washington, DC. Harris, meanwhile, was given the task of curtaining the southern border crisis that is producing a record amount of migrant inflows.
The latest resignation from Harris’s staff is Senior Adviser Symone Sanders, who announced Thursday she will leave her position at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities outside. Her announcement read in part:
I’m so grateful to the VP for her vote of confidence from the very beginning and the opportunity to see what can be unburdened by what has been. I’m grateful for [Harris chief of staff] Tina [Flournoy] and her leadership and her confidence as well.
Sanders, a distinguishable figure in Democrat politics, worked as a top staffer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 presidential run and joined President Biden’s 2020 presidential bid as a senior adviser.
After Sanders’ announcement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki complimented Sanders as “whip smart” and one who “has charisma coming out of her eyeballs. … She’ll always be part of this Biden-Harris family.”
“Peter Velz, director of press operations, and Vince Evans, deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the vice president’s office, have also told others in the vice president’s office that they are leaving,” the Post wrote.
The exodus from Harris’s office seemed to be primed a week before Thanksgiving. On November 18, Harris’s communications director, Ashley Etienne, announced she would leave Harris’s office for “other opportunities.”
Etienne was a trusted senior adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign before working for other politicians in Washington, DC, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama.
Etienne’s departure correlates with White House leaks to CNN about Harris’s alleged bitterness over President Joe Biden’s favoritism toward Buttigieg.
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