A second key member of Vice President Kamala Harris’s staff is set to depart the White House before the end of the year following the Democrat’s terrible poll numbers.
Senior adviser and chief spokeswoman Symone Sanders, who previously worked as President Joe Biden’s senior campaign adviser during the 2020 election, is planning to leave her role by 2022 in a move that both Biden and Harris have apparently known about “for a while,” Politico reports.
“I’m so grateful to the VP for her vote of confidence from the very beginning and the opportunity to see what can be unburdened by what has been. I’m grateful for [Harris chief of staff] Tina [Flournoy] and her leadership and her confidence as well. Every day, I arrived to the White House complex knowing our work made a tangible difference for Americans. I am immensely grateful and will miss working for her and with all of you,” Sanders wrote in a note to her colleagues.
Sanders’ announcement comes just two weeks after the vice president’s communications director Ashley Etienne resigned from her role citing “other opportunities.” Her departure followed a series of reports from several corporate media outlets detailing internal conflict and friction between staffers and Harris in the vice president’s office.
Politico reported in June that Harris’s team often experienced a “tense and at times dour office atmosphere” as staffers were forced to deal with the fallout caused by the vice president’s refusal to visit the U.S. southern border and infamous laughing on camera when asked why.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” one person with knowledge of the vice president’s office reportedly 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—.”
These conditions reportedly forced out “two top advance staffers” Karly Satkowiak and Gabrielle DeFranceschi earlier this year, which “Harris officials said were long-planned departures, a point disputed by two other people familiar with the matter.”
Despite recent polling suggesting that Harris’s approval with the American people is tanking even more than the president’s, some reports have hinted that the vice president is fighting to become a Democrat front-runner in the 2024 presidential race even though Biden plans to run again.