Kamala Harris loses 12th and most senior member as chief of staff calls it quits

Vice President Kamala Harris’s chief of staff Tina Flournoy is leaving the Biden administration, making her the 12th and most senior member to exit in what has been a string of staff departures since June of last year.

The news came just a few weeks after it was announced that Harris’s deputy chief of staff Michael Fuchs was leaving the administration,

“It is likely that this news will appear in print today — which means that I will not have the opportunity to share it with each of you myself,” Flournoy wrote in an email to staff obtained by Politico. “I will be eternally grateful to the Vice President for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

Lorraine Voles, who served as communications director for former Vice President Al Gore and joined Harris’s staff last summer as a senior adviser, will replace Flournoy.

“Voles, who also worked on the transition, was brought in to focus on strategic communication, restructuring Harris’ office during growing scrutiny of the vice president last summer. Originally, she was supposed to stay on only temporarily, but aides have described her as critical to the office as she’s been leaned on more and more during her time on staff,” Politico reported.

Her appointment maintains the Clinton connection in the vice president’s office — Flournoy served as chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton and Voles was an advisor to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.

“Tina has been a valued advisor and confidant to me and tremendous leader for the office,” Harris said in a statement. “Tina is the consummate public servant and I will continue to rely on her advice, counsel and friendship.”

Harris has a reputation as allegedly being hard to work for and there have been previous reports of “dysfunction” and “abuse” in her office.

“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a source with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run said last year, according to Politico. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”

Even CNN reported on the “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus” in the office while taking note of tensions between Team Biden and Team Harris.


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