Kamala Harris’ Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders To Leave VP Office

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US Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech in Singapore during a visit to promote US relations in the region against China's alleged threat
Symone Sanders is leaving the White House weeks after the VP's communications chief was reported to leave Kamala Harris' office. In photo: Harris in Singapore.

Senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, Symone Sanders, will reportedly exit the White House soon, making her the highest-profile worker for the VP office to leave her post.

Five administration officials with knowledge of the matter told Politico that Sanders is expected to make her exit at the end of the year. An official working at the VP’s office confirmed Sanders’ exit, noting that both President Joe Biden and Harris have “known for a while” about it. Sanders, who worked as Biden’s campaign senior adviser during the 2020 election before transitioning to the vice-presidential office, has also informed other staff about her departure.

Sanders said in a notice to staff Wednesday evening that she was “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.” She also thanked Harris’ chief of staff Tina Flournoy “for her leadership and confidence,” and said she “will miss working” with the VP team.

Another source familiar with the matter told CNN that Sanders “has served honorably for 3 years” and that both Biden and Harris were grateful for Sanders’ service “and advocacy for this White House.”

Sanders has written in her 2020 memoir “No, You Shut Up” that she would become the White House press secretary one day. Bakari Sellers, a friend of Sanders, said in a May interview with the Washington Post that Sanders was “stung” after the president chose Jen Psaki over her, adding that Sanders was “hurt” after she was deployed to the VP office. D.C. director of culture and nightlife Shawn Townsend added that Sanders was “definitely hopeful that she would have that opportunity” to work as Biden’s press secretary.

News of the 31-year-old spokesperson’s nearing exit came just days after Vanity Fair broke the news that Harris’ communications chief, Ashley Etienne was leaving the VP office. Etienne was also among the Biden team members who transitioned to Harris’ office after the 2020 election. Etienne is expected to leave the White House in the coming weeks, following alleged infighting reports and low morale among employees at the VP office.

The two VP office exits were reported amid questions about just how public Harris’ role should be as the vice president. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” in mid-November, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Harris if she shares the sentiments of some allies such as California lieutenant governor Eleni Kounalakis, who Stephanopoulos cited as saying that she believes the vice president can do more.

Harris said things were getting done, but Stephanopoulos pressed further, asking if she felt “misused or underused,” to which Harris answered “no.”


US Vice President Kamala Harris will briefly hold power while President Joe Biden is under anesthetic
US Vice President Kamala Harris will briefly hold power while President Joe Biden is under anesthetic
Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

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