According to allegations from staff members of Kamala Harris, the vice president’s office is an abusive environment with low morale, where they are not only mistreated but face chaotic situations due to hasty decision-making that creates a tense and sometimes unpleasant office environment, according to a report by Politico, which quotes 22 current and former aides.
“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 [expletive].”
Politico mentions that the vice president’s team is experiencing “porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.” And according to testimony, while much of the anger is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, two administration officials said the vice president is also responsible for how her office is run.
Harris’s recent visit to El Paso, Texas, was apparently the latest chaotic moment for staffers, who say the vice president’s plans are often known only to her and a close group of staff and advisers. Senior officials in the office often fail to communicate important details to those responsible for managing the travel arrangements and blame them when something goes wrong.
Harris’s chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, upset by what the staffers exposed, rejected accusations of discord within the vice president’s team.
“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 told Politico. “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,” she said.
The leadership of Tina Flournoy, who earned a tough reputation while working for former President Bill Clinton, is being heavily challenged, and several of Harris’s allies in politics and business outside the federal government, including major donors, are fighting to have their calls returned.
One of those who came to her defence was Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Biden, who said the decision to keep news of the border trip contained to a small group of people was to avoid leaking it and “making a spectacle of it”, denying the staffers’ allegations.
Just six months after the Democrats’ arrival in the White House, some aides in the vice president’s office said they are looking for other employment opportunities, while others have already left.
According to the report, in recent days, two top aides, Karly Satkowiak and Gabrielle DeFranceschi, left the “dysfunctional” office. While Harris’s team said the departures were “long-planned,” two people familiar with the departures say that is a lie.
Moreover, as reported by the Daily Wire, a former Harris aide claimed that nothing is going on in Harris’s office that the vice president doesn’t know about.
“She is the most perceptive person on the planet,” he said, adding, “She might not have first-hand knowledge, but it’s hard to imagine she doesn’t have a sense of what’s going on.”