Vice President Kamala Harris has long faced conservative speculation about her fitness for office, but it seems that now even some in the mainstream media are beginning to signal similar concerns.
A bombshell report by Politico this week cited figures close to Harris who say she has created a toxic workplace.
“People often feel mistreated”
One unnamed staffer made it clear where the ultimate blame lies, asserting: “It all starts at the top.”
Another individual identified by Politico as someone with “direct knowledge” of the vice president’s office, complained that those around her “are thrown under the bus from the very top,” adding that “there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment.”
The same source insisted that it is “not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.”
Instead of receiving support from those in charge, staffers allegedly “feel treated like s***.”
Of course, Harris was not the only top official to face similar anonymous complaints. Her chief of staff Tina Flournoy was named as a particular source of division within the office.
“Welcome to the club”
Senior Harris adviser and spokesperson Symone Sanders quickly came to Flournoy’s defense, declaring: “Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina.”
The Harris chief of staff, who has a long history as a Democratic operative on the national stage, has a controversial past. As an executive for Philip Morris, for example, she fought to shield tobacco companies from liability.
As for the criticism expressed by “cowards” in the Politico article, however, Sanders was clear in her defense of Flournoy, adding: “We’re not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like, ‘Welcome to the club.'”
She insisted that the Harris team has “created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so,” encouraging anyone who “has something they would like to raise” to “raise it directly.”
Politico appeared to lend some credence to at least the race- and gender-based aspects of Sanders’ statement, referencing defenders of both Harris and Flournoy who “note that women in power — Black women in particular — are subjected to standards that men often don’t have to clear.”