Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Vice President Harris and her chief spokesperson, will depart at the end of the year. She is the second top Harris aide to announce her departure in less than a month. Just two weeks ago, Harris Communications Director Ashley Etienne resigned.
Psaki on Thursday tried to downplay the departures, characterizing them as a “positive … thing” that is “natural” for any administration.
However, the hosts on “The Five” said Thursday the departures are a sign of turmoil in the Biden-Harris administration.
“Top aides can’t get out of Kamala Harris’ sinking ship fast enough,” Katie Pavlich said. “The VP’s office hit with yet another major departure after three other high-level staffers already said they are leaving. This time it’s Symone Sanders, one of Harris’s most trusted advisers and top spokesperson. Sanders reportedly steered Kamala’s plan for handling the border crisis, but now she’s hitting the road as it looks like Harris’s presidential ambitions are sinking. The White House and Kamala defend that shake-up as perfectly normal.”
Jesse Watters said that people are reading “the writing on the wall.”
“Kamala is not the heir apparent, right? So they’re trying to get out before the Kamala stench sinks in too deeply,” he said. “These people, a lot of them are about resume-building. You know … these people – in D.C. it’s about … where you went to college, who you work for in the campaign, what your title is and the VP’s office. [But] the minute it looks like [Harris is] not going to be the one, they’re out.”
“What you’re now seeing is the bench is so thin with … Pete [Buttigieg] and Kamala. It’s going to be like a bloodbath in a couple of years,” Watters continued. “Because you have – I would say – a what, a gay White male intellectual versus a woman of color. And neither of them can win the white working-class vote, [and] neither of them can win the Black vote. So … this is going to be the most delicious, divisive drama you could ever imagine. As Dana says, ‘I’m here for it.”
In recent weeks, CNN reported “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus” in Harris’ wing of the White House. The relationships between the Biden-Harris offices are reportedly strained, despite the cordial relationship between the vice president and President Biden.
Following the reports of infighting, White House officials sent out tweets praising Harris.
“For anyone who needs to hear it [Harris] is not only a vital partner to [Biden] but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country – from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” Psaki tweeted.
Harris had nothing but kind words for Symone Sanders when asked about her departure.
“I love Symone,” Harris said. “I can’t wait to see what she will do next … And I mean that sincerely.”
The panel laughed at Harris’ proclaimed sincerity.
“When anybody says that, that means I don’t mean that sincerely,” Watters said.
“That’s like when they say, ‘With all due respect,'” Dana Perino said.
“Or ‘bless your heart,’” Jessica Tarlov added.