Harris’ administration is in damage control mode as they try to stop a drama-filled narrative from taking hold.
Some members of her administration are frustrated with their current progress and believe that they’re seeing a “dysfunctional operation.” This is mostly directed towards Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flourney, sources say. Several people close to the staff have confirmed this accusation, saying that there were “challenges and struggles” with the chief, but they denied that it was ever directly caused by Flourney, nor did it amount to dysfunction in the White House.
“I will say that the vice president is an incredibly important partner to the President of the United States. She has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her. But other than that, I’m not going to have any more comments on those reports,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday.
One source close to the White House told CNN that the West Wing is discussing matters related to Harriss’ team.
The fact that a discussion such as this one is occurring means that Harris’s opportunity to lead the Democratic Party — as she prepares to run for the 2024 election if Biden leaves the race — could be affected. Many of the top White House officials rushed to defend her and Flourney amid these leaks, deeming them “a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Axios in a statement: “The President’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together.”
“The results speak for themselves: a decline of border arrivals from the Northern Triangle, improved vaccine equity, and increased economic opportunities for women. Anyone who has the honor of working closely with the Vice President knows how her talents and determination have made a huge difference in this Administration already,” Klain’s statement added.
It doesn’t help that Harris has been under fire this past month after her somewhat controversial response to one of Lester Holt’s questions on NBC during Tuesday’s airing.
“At some point, you know, we are going to the border,” Harris said in the interview. “We’ve been to the border. So this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
Holt responded: “You haven’t been to the border.”
“I, and I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t — I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” Harris said jocularly. She added: “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
While many White House officials have denied that there was ever any drama within the house, them having to address it means that there is some sort of feud between the West Wing and Harris’ administration.
Multiple administration officials when describing Harris’ office labeled it a “s—tshow” and “poorly managed.”
“One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, ‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f—king up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f—king up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent,”” Axios reported.
Accordingly, many Democrats are concerned about whether or not Harris is able to lead the party or even her own administration.
“I think everybody is just feeling overwhelmed,” a source close to the White House told CNN.
“It’s a tough place, obviously,” the administration official declared. “But for the most part, people are focused on the mission.”