White House press secretary Jen Psaki Friday set aside anonymous comments from staff critical of the inner workings of the office of Vice President Kamala Harris as a “sh*t hole.”
The comments were made to Politico and Axios in a scathing critique of Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, who they say drags out decisions and meets ideas from staff with harsh dismissal. Morale in the Vice President’s office is described as low, communication is criticized as poor and trust between staff is said to be poor.
Two administration officials, however, says Harris bears some responsibility for this saying “It all starts at the top.”
“I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources,” Psaki told reporters, according to the Business Insider.
“I will say that the vice president is an incredibly important partner to the president,” Psaki said. “She has a challenging job, a hard job. And she has a great, supportive team of people around her. But other than that I’m not going to have any more comments on those reports.”
In all, Politico said it interviewed some 22 members of the Harris staff.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said one. “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—.”
Harris’ senior adviser, Symone Sanders, is not among the critics.
“People are not fighting every day,” Sanders said to Axios. “There’s not consternation among aides. That is not true. … I hear that there are critics. Those who talk often do not know and those who know usually are not the ones talking.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also came to Harris’ defense.
“She’s delivering for the American people on immigration, small business, voting rights, and economic growth,” Klain said. “The results speak for themselves: a decline of border arrivals from the Northern Triangle, improved vaccine equity, and increased economic opportunities for women.”
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