Vice President Kamala Harris has faced widespread criticism over her public actions and behavior, but a recent report sheds light on the way she manages her staff behind the scenes.
According to Politico, insiders have described the atmosphere within the vice president’s office as “tense and at times dour.”
“An abusive environment”
Citing nearly two dozen current and former employees and associates, the bombshell report painted a largely negative picture of the work environment. “Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication, and diminished trust among aides and senior officials,” Politico alleged.
One of the individuals referenced by Politico said that “people are thrown under the bus from the very top,” calling it “an abusive environment” in which everyone is on edge.
“It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated,” the individual said. “It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s***.”
In fact, even some top aides and officials on President Joe Biden’s staff have reportedly raised concerns about the dysfunctional situation.
Much of the backlash is reportedly aimed at Harris’ chief of staff Tina Flournoy, whose history as a Democratic operative dates back at least to the Clinton administration.
“Developed a reputation”
The Politico piece described the common complaint that, although it was Flounoy’s job to “shield” the vice president “from outside influences and ensure only important matters land on their desk,” the chief of staff “has developed a reputation for taking that sentry position to an extreme, often refusing to delegate and second-guessing other staffers.”
Of course, the staff also appears to place at least some of the blame on Harris herself. As Politico noted, allegations that she operates a dysfunctional office also arose from within her U.S. Senate staff.
One ex-staffer who worked for then-Sen. Harris (D-CA) told Politico that “the morale level for current Harris staffers is ‘rough’ and in many ways similar to the failed presidential campaign and her Senate office.”
Flournoy continued to work for former President Bill Clinton in the years after he left office, and he issued a glowing statement amid recent reports, writing: “Tina Flournoy ran my office for more than eight years, making it more efficient, effective, and transparent. She made it easier, not harder, for me to advance my philanthropic work and my post-presidential activities, and keep in touch with my friends.”
As of this writing, neither Harris nor Flournoy have provided a response to the Politico report.