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Kamala Harris comms director out after reports of in-fighting

Ashley Etienne is "leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities" said a White House official.

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Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio
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Ashley Etienne announced today that she’s leaving her post as the communications chief for Kamala Harris. Her departure from this job comes after previous positions under Nancy Pelosi and former President Obama.

While Vanity Fair introduces the news with the caveat that Etienne previously made it clear she’d be only staying for a year’s time (and that was to be expected), it comes amid a new round of chatter about how Vice President Kamala Harris is truly fairing in Biden’s White House.

Harris went on Good Morning America on Thursday morning to clap back at this wave of criticism.

"I am very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished but I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do and we're going to get it done," the Vice President said amid claims of how Biden is property utilizing her, or not.

What’s lost in the most recent discussions surrounding Harris is how detailed of a picture POLITICO painted over the summer. They described it as "not a healthy environment" in the headline of an expose describing toxic workplace dynamics and the internal chain of command of Kamala’s staffers.

That is to say: Kamala’s about face on visiting the US - Mexico border after writing off such a trip as a photo-op, had a reactionary backlash amongst her own team.

Those who spoke to the Vanity Fair piece’s author Abigail Tracy cited that Kamala’s ill-fated appearance on The View back in September brought tensions to a head. That is to say: having the Vice President relegated to a remote interview with the talk show hosts amid a last-minute COVID scare, did not bode well for the Vice President, whose staff had been trying to make her "more visible."

Reporting on Kamala Harris has pointed back to the common theme of claims that President Biden gave the Vice President impossible challenges to deal with in the southern border and issues of voting rights.

A piece released by CNN on Sunday is what created this latest interest in the Vice President’s position in the Biden administration. The bottom line being it was an earthquake for both Biden’s staff and Kamala’s staff internally on their own, but also with how the CNN article highlighted how the two teams of people interacted with each other.

"They're consistently sending her out there on losing issues in the wrong situations for her skill set," said a former Harris official in describing the relationship between Harris and Biden.

But to bring it back to Ashley Etienne, CNN’s own follow-up describes the atmosphere: "CNN reported that several people on Harris' staff had started to reach out to contacts to say they're looking to leave, according to sources who've gotten calls."

The official line given by the White House to the outlet was: "Ashley is a valued member of the vice president's team, who has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of this administration. She is leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities."

Vanity Fair relayed a harsher reality that Kamala Harris doesn’t stand a chance on her own in 2024.

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