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Another high-profile official who works for Vice President Kamala Harris is leaving, making her the latest to do so following a series of other notable departures.
A White House official told CNN that Sabrina Singh, Harris’ deputy press secretary, is calling it quits. Her leaving marks the “latest high-profile departure from the vice president’s office, which suffered a turbulent first year due to missteps and messaging failures,” noted the network, 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.
Singh’s departure follows those of other ranking members of Harris’ inner circle.
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.”
In early December, the Washington Post published a lengthy report and quoted several current and former staffers who were frustrated with her.
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” a former staffer said. “With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
In July, a separate report in Politico contained remarks and observations from staffers who echoed many of the same complaints.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said one person familiar with operations in Harris’ office. “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—.”
The Politico report noted further that members of President Joe Biden’s staff had taken notice of how Harris treats her personnel and had expressed concerns. It should be pointed out that Biden has not shed staff as his vice president has done.
Also in July, the Washington Free Beacon reported that some former Harris staffers were watching with a great deal of concern that she could wind up becoming president, which they described as a “nightmare scenario,” the outlet reported.
“Many of them remain loyal Democrats and fans of Biden, but they didn’t want to see a boss with whom they’d had a bad experience become the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer. Biden, at 78, was already the oldest person to assume the US presidency. He’ll be a few weeks shy of his 82nd birthday on Election Day 2024, and there’s already speculation six months into his term over whether he’ll run for reelection,” the report said, quoting Business Insider, which added:
The outlet interviewed a dozen former Harris staffers from various points in her political career, nearly all of whom “spoke on condition of anonymity to protect professional relationships, adding that Harris’ job trajectory means it’s well within reason she could become the most powerful person on the planet.”
That’s a terrifying prospect for ex-aides who recall a “toxic” and “reactionary” workplace infused with “a sense of paranoia in that office that you never knew when she was going to snap at you.” One former staffer who had mostly positive things to say about Harris conceded that her staffers were often “so stressed out that they were making themselves sick. Is that toxic? I don’t know.”
CNN noted that Etienne was replaced by Jamal Simmons earlier this year, but Sanders’ role remains vacant.