During a Dec. 2 press briefing, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy questioned White House press secretary Jen Psaki over reports that multiple staffers are leaving their jobs in Vice President Kamala Harris’ office, including Harris’ chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders.
“A handful of key aides have announced either that they are leaving the vice president’s office or are reportedly going to be leaving the vice president’s office soon,” Doocy began. “Is the vice president not satisfied with the staffing that she has had so far? Or do people just not want to work for her anymore?”
“I would say working on a presidential campaign … and working in the first year of a White House is exciting and rewarding but it’s also grueling and exhausting,” Psaki said. “I would just note there has been an announcement about Symone Sanders departing, but there hasn’t been official announcements about others. I would leave it to them and the vice president’s team to make any additional announcements.”
Despite the mass exodus occurring in less than a year of working for Harris, Psaki went on to argue that it was “natural” for staffers to leave and “move on to a new challenge after a few years.”
“But in my experience, and if you look at past precedent, it’s natural for staffers who have thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge after a few years. And that is applicable to many of these individuals,” Psaki said. “It’s also an opportunity, as it is in any White House, to bring in new faces, new voices, and new perspectives. And I expect you’ll hear more from the Vice President’s Office on that in due time.”
DOOCY TIME: "A handful of key aides have announced either that they are leaving the Vice President's office or are reportedly going to be…soon. Is the Vice President not satisfied with the staffing that she has…or do people just not want to work for her anymore?" pic.twitter.com/mgaXTZ8h3z
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 2, 2021
In addition to Sanders, Peter Velz, Harris’ director of press operations, and Vince Evans, Harris’ deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, have said that they are leaving, according to the Washington Post.
Just weeks earlier, Harris’ communications director Ashley Etienne also resigned.
“Ashley is a valued member of the vice president’s team, who has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of this administration,” a White House official stated. “She is leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities.”
Last month, CNN released a report titled, “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president,” which cites dozens of Harris’ staffers and details the issues in the vice president’s office.
“But, with many sources speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation more frankly, they all tell roughly the same story: Harris’ staff has repeatedly failed her and left her exposed, and family members have often had an informal say within her office. Even some who have been asked for advice lament Harris’ overly cautious tendencies and staff problems, which have been a feature of every office she’s held, from San Francisco district attorney to U.S. Senate,” the report said.
As Politico explained, “Harris’ office has been beset by disorder, bad press, and, at times, internal frictions. … In recent weeks, chatter has grown increasingly loud that Harris wasn’t positioned well to be Biden’s heir apparent in 2028 or, if he opts not to run again, in 2024.”