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The office turmoil surrounding Vice President Kamala Harris continued this week with the resignation of another top official.
Reports said that Harris’ deputy chief of staff, Michael Fuchs, has announced that he will be leaving next month, the Washington Examiner reported.
The outlet noted that “Fuchs — a senior State Department official under former President Barack Obama, foreign policy adviser to former President Bill Clinton, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress before joining the Biden administration last year — advised Harris on a range of domestic and international issues since taking office.”
In an internal staff memo, Fuchs wrote that he plans to leave by early May, according to Reuters, which was sent a copy of the communique. He offered praise for the Biden administration generally and added that he’ll reveal his future plans at a later date. Harris’ office did not respond to a request for comment from the Examiner.
“Harris is bringing on a new chief speechwriter, Meghan Groob, who was a senior speechwriter in the Obama administration. Groob most recently worked at Gates Ventures and was a speechwriter to Bill Gates, according to a separate memo seen by Reuters,” the outlet reported. “The vice president’s previous chief speechwriter left her office at the end of February.”
Fuchs is just the latest Harris staffer to depart since she took office on January 20, 2021. Last month Sabrina Singh, Harris’ deputy press secretary, called it quits.
Her leaving marked the “latest high-profile departure from the vice president’s office, which suffered a turbulent first year due to missteps and messaging failures,” noted CNN, adding: “She will join the Department of Defense.”
“Ernesto Apreza, Harris’ senior adviser for public engagement, will become deputy press secretary and is expected to focus on engaging local and state press, as well as specific key coalition groups. Apreza previously served on the Biden-Harris campaign, as well as on the then-mayor of Seattle’s staff,” the report continued.
In February, VP’s chief speechwriter, Kate Childs Graham, put in her resignation.
One source told Fox News: “Kate is leaving the office, but not the family. The vice president is grateful for her service to the administration.”
“We are excited for her next step,” the source added.
Fox News added:
This is far from the first resignation for the vice president’s team. The office has seen a virtual exodus over the course of her first year in office as staffers complain about their workplace morale.
Harris’ communications director Ashley Etienne resigned in November to “pursue other opportunities.” That came after reports of exasperation between Harris’ office and Biden’s amid lagging approval ratings for Harris.
Shortly after Etienne’s departure, Symone Sanders announced she would be departing at the end of the year. Harris’ office said Sanders, a senior adviser and her chief spokesperson, “will be missed.”
Some have speculated that staffers are bailing on Harris because she is not simply tough to work for but also appears to lack vice-presidential or presidential mettle.
She was criticized late last week, for example, after she spoke on a topic for around two minutes but did not appear to actually utter anything of substance. Specifically, she was asked by MSNBC host Joy Reid if Russian President Vladimir Putin should be removed from the presidency.
“Listen, I think that you frame the point quite accurately and well, which is America’s policy has been and will continue to be focused on the real issue at hand, which is one, the needs of the Ukrainian people, which we will continue to support through humanitarian assistance, through security assistance, but also ensuring there is serious consequence for Vladimir Putin and Russian aggression as it relates to Ukraine,” the vice president said.
“Which is why our policy from the beginning has been about ensuring that there are going to be real costs exacted against Russia in the form of severe sanctions, which are having a real impact and immediate impact, not to mention the longer term impact, which is about saying there is going to be consequence and accountability when you commit the kinds of atrocities that he is committing,” she said.
She went on to praise President Joe Biden and then said, “To your point, Joy, I’ve been to Poland,” which was not Reid’s question.