Senior adviser, multiple press staffers ditch Kamala Harris’ team as VP continues to falter

News & Politics

The mass exodus taking place from Vice President Kamala Harris’ team has now reached all the way to top-level staffers.

Symone Sanders, the vice president’s senior adviser and chief spokesperson, is reportedly expected to leave the White House by the end of the year, Politico reported this week. It’s the latest in a string of departures from Harris’ team as criticism of the vice president continues to grow.

Sanders, who previously served as a senior adviser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, was one of Harris’ “most vocal and public defenders during the first year of her historic vice presidency,” the Washington Post noted. Though the outlet added that Harris’ office “has been beset by concerns about messaging discipline and staff dysfunction.”

In a statement to the Post, a spokesperson for Harris confirmed the news, saying, “Symone has served honorably for three years. The President and Vice President are grateful for Symone’s service and advocacy for this Administration. She is a valued member of the White House and a team player — she will be missed.”

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Sanders reportedly issued a note to staff Wednesday night that said in part that she is thankful for Harris’ “vote of confidence from the very beginning” and is “immensely grateful” for her time serving in the position.

The news comes just weeks after Harris’ communications director, Ashley Etienne, a veteran of the Obama administration, announced her resignation. Etienne is also expected to depart the White House in the coming weeks.

Moreover, two other press staffers have also reportedly announced plans to leave Harris’ team.

“Peter Velz, director of press operations, and Vince Evans, deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the vice president’s office, have also told others in the vice president’s office that they are leaving, according to two administration officials,” the Post reported.

“Both are expected to take new jobs in or close to the administration,” the outlet added.

Harris is a largely unpopular figure in American politics. Her current approval rating sits at just 28% — the lowest among modern vice presidents — and her time in office has been plagued by an array of cringeworthy moments and instances of incompetence, perhaps most notably her failure to manage the immigration crisis at the southern border.

Last month, CNN reported “exasperation and dysfunction” within the vice president’s office, as members reportedly complained she’s “not being adequately prepared or positioned” to lead, but instead is being “sidelined” and “constrained” by the Biden administration.

The vice president’s troubles have no doubt made working on her team a less-than-desirable situation. Now it remains to be seen who else, if anyone, will jump ship next.

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