Vice President Kamala Harris’s office is “tense and at times dour office atmosphere,” according to a new report.
After interviewing 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and President Joe Biden, Politico reported Harris’s office is “experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.”
According to Politico, the majority of the frustration is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’s chief of staff.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” one person familiar with how the office is run said.
The person added, “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**t.”
The senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris, Symone Sanders, defended Flournoy.
She said Flournoy has an “open door policy” and that “Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina.”
Sanders continued, “People are cowards to do this this way.”
She also argued, “We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like ‘welcome to the club.'”
Sanders added, “We have created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so. Whoever has something they would like to raise, they should raise it directly.”
The outlet noted some of those aides are searching for other employment opportunities, others have already left, and more recently, two top staffers left in what were said to be long-planned departures. Two people familiar with the matter disputed the point.
Another aide who worked on Harris’s digital team left after staying in New York instead of relocating to Washington, D.C.
During interviews with Politico, some aides and allies said they are “concerned Harris is being ill-served by stepping too far back and letting her political apparatus atrophy,” as the outlet reports.
The outlet pointed out a friend of Harris reached out to Flournoy to try to arrange a brief meeting with one of the party’s top donors and they were reportedly ignored.
“This is someone who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars—millions, even—for your boss and you’re just blowing them off?” the friend of Harris asked.
The fried added, “Next time Kamala wants [them] for something, it’s like, ‘Hey, I couldn’t even get a call-back from your chief of staff!'”
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