Last week, a string of troubling allegations came out against Vice President Kamala Harris about what some have labeled a pattern of mistreatment in her office. Now, The Daily Wire reports that the White House is in a frenzy trying to play damage control.
A number of high-profile aides have come forward to dispute the claims against Harris, The Daily Wire notes, including Harris’ deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, as well as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who told reporters Friday that the vice president “has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her.”
Their attempts to downplay the reports of an “abusive” work environment in Harris’ office have done little to quell rumors of a downward spiral for the senator-turned-VP, however.
“Dysfunction” in the ranks
The problems started for Harris last Wednesday when Politico released a report outlining complaints from nearly two dozen White House insiders about Harris’ treatment of her staff.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” one unnamed source was said to have told the outlet.
“It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated,” the source added, according to Politico. “It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s***.”
Politico’s report went on to assert that the “dysfunction in the VP’s ranks threatens to complicate the White House’s carefully crafted image as a place staffed by a close-knit group of professionals working in concert to advance the president’s agenda.”
“It’s pronounced enough that members of the president’s own team have taken notice and are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated,” the outlet alleged.
Behind closed doors
Harris’ top spokesperson was also among those to come to her defense, even suggesting to Politico that race may have played a role in the criticism of the vice president, along with her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy.
“Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina,” Symone Sanders explained, denouncing the critics as “cowards.”
But this is not the first instance in which Harris has been accused of overseeing a badly run operation. In 2019, The Daily Wire quoted a resignation letter submitted by her presidential campaign’s Iowa chief, Kelly Mehlenbacher.
“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” Mehlenbacher reportedly complained. “While I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the General Election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership.”