- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 1, 2021

Staffers for Vice President Kamala Harris are experiencing low morale in an unfriendly environment where they say they often feel ignored and mistreated, Politico reported Wednesday.

Nearly two dozen current and former vice-presidential aides, administration officials and allies of the Biden administration told Politico that Ms. Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, had created a protective bubble around the vice president in which outside ideas are “ignored or met with harsh dismissals.”

An administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “it all starts at the top,” ultimately blaming Ms. Harris for the way her office is run.

“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” another person with direct knowledge of how the office is run told Politico. “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—-.”

Six months into the Biden presidency and two top aides to Ms. Harris have already left and others are looking for the door, the report said. 

Symone Sanders, the vice president’s senior adviser and chief spokeswoman, defended Ms. Flournoy and dismissed complaints of a harsh working environment.

“People are cowards to do this this way,” she told Politico.

“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,’” she added. “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.” 

Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to the president, also defended Ms. Flournoy and said the vice president’s office environment was “not anywhere near what you are describing,” Politico reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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