The White House has responded to recent reports alleging that Kamala Harris is harboring a toxic work environment in the vice president’s office.
According to the Daily Caller, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t go so far Friday as to outright dismiss the claims about the way Harris’ office is being run, but she did call them into question during a talk with reporters in the press briefing room.
It was said to have been Fox News’ Peter Doocy who asked Psaki Friday whether “the White House [is] concerned that some vice presidential staffers reportedly feel like they work in a quote ‘abusive environment.'”
Psaki offered a cautious response, first noting the anonymous sources of the reporting. Politico, who was the first to report on the development, said Wednesday that it spoke with 22 White House insiders, one of whom said Harris’ office is “not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.”
Psaki said Friday: “Well, I would first note that I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources.”
A partner to Biden
The press secretary went on to praise Harris for her work as a “partner” to President Joe Biden.
“I will say that the vice president is an incredibly important partner to the president of the United States,” Psaki said, according to the Daily Caller. “She has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her.”
She concluded: “Other than that, I’m not going have any more comments on those reports.”
“Thrown under the bus”
In its Wednesday report, Politico charged that “Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication, and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.”
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” one source told the outlet.
Soon after Politico released its piece, Axios released a report of its own Friday intimating that Democrats are worried about Harris’ 2024 chances, should President Biden decide not to run. “Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone-deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House,” Axios said.
Try as Psaki might to tamp down on the rumors, it looks like this problem isn’t going away for Harris any time soon.