Recent reports allege that current and former staffers have been grumbling behind the scenes about a hostile and tense work environment within the office of Vice President Kamala Harris.
While many of the complaints were aimed at senior Harris staffers, one former aide reportedly asserted that the “consistent thread” and “common denominator” in all of the allegations is Harris herself.
“This is a bottom-line business”
“Look, this is a bottom-line business,” the unnamed individual told the Washington Examiner. “And the bottom line is the vice president has challenges with staff wherever she is.”
An earlier Politico report emerged in the aftermath of two sudden resignations from within the office’s advance team and a poorly executed “border visit” in Texas.
Many of the complaints regarding the toxic work environment were geared toward Harris chief of staff Tina Flournoy, but all roads seem to ultimately lead back to the vice president.
A subsequent Business Insider report alleged that staffer problems have dogged Harris throughout her political career.
Barbara O’Connor, a communications professor at California State University-Sacramento said that she had counseled at least 20 interns who had trouble working for Harris. She reportedly helped a few of the individuals transfer out of the office and certain cases resulted in financial settlements and non-disclosure agreements.
“Incredibly complex issues”
“The consistent thread with all of the infighting and dissension, with all of the different power centers of Kamala Harris, is Vice President Harris,” a source told the Examiner.
Noting that the prior reports were “not surprising,” the insider added: “The Harris inner circles, and I’ll use that plural because they’ve been different inner circles in California, in her Senate office, on her presidential campaign, and now in her vice presidential campaign [and] in office, they’ve always been rife with a lot of dissension and a lot of infighting. It’s probably a little unfair to say it’s just her. But she is a common denominator in all of these situations.”
Another former staffer shared the hope that the recent reports would be a “wake-up call” for the vice president to avoid “self-inflicted wounds” in the future.
“She’s taking on incredibly complex issues and is under the microscope like never before in her career,” the ex-staffer said. “So this sort of treatment comes with the territory.”
Meanwhile, the White House has done its best to dismiss reports of dissension in the ranks and has signaled its full support for Harris in her current role.