Since Kamala Harris took office, reports of a hostile work environment have been a problem. The recent exodus of her chief spokesperson only raised more questions. Symone Sanders, Symone Sanders’ chief spokesperson and senior adviser to Vice President, recently announced that she will be leaving the office at the end of the year.
Harris said this week that Symone is her best friend and that she loves what she does. When asked if Sander’s departure was part of an internal shakeup, the vice-president declined to answer.
Harris said she’s already told people what she thinks about Symone and asked for the next question. Reporter Joe Concha called Harris’ office a sinking ship in commentary on the departure. He said her approval ratings reach 28% and she polls even lower on her top job than the U.S. Southern Border where migrants continue to flow in.
Sanders’ resignation from the VP’s office raised eyebrows not only because she is the second high-level staffer to do so in less than one month but also because Sanders was an outspoken critic of VP dropouts.
After hearing reports about low morale at Harris’ office this summer Sanders called those who spoke anonymously to the media “cowards” and defended the toxic environment. Sanders stated that they don’t make rainbows and bunnies every day and have people work hard. She said “welcome to the club.” Sanders said they have created an environment where people can speak up if they have anything to say.
Just a week before Thanksgiving, news broke that Ashley Etienne had resigned as Harris’ communications director. The White House has not confirmed reports that Vince Evans and Peter Velz, two other Harris communications staffers, have resigned. White House officials insist that Harris’ departures from several employees are not a sign that she is a bad boss.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that the White House has a history of seeing high-ranking staffers leave. She also described the work as “grueling” when asked by reporters about the working environment at the office of the vice president.
Psaki said that working on a presidential campaign and the first year in a White House is exciting, rewarding, but also grueling. It’s all of these things at once.