Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday regarding the departure of a handful of Vice President Kamala Harris’ staff.
“People are reportedly going to be leaving the vice president’s office soon. Is the vice president not satisfied with the staffing she has had so far or do people just not want to work for her anymore?” Doocy asked.
“Well, Peter, I would say that working on a presidential campaign, maybe covering one too, I would say, to be fair, and working in the first year of a White House is exciting and rewarding but it’s also grueling and exhausting,” Psaki replied. “It’s all of those things at once.”
“In my experience, if you look at past precedent, it’s natural for staffers who have thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge after a few years and that is applicable to many of these individuals.”
She added that it is “a new opportunity” to bring in new staffers with different perspectives and that the vice president’s office is likely to make new announcements in the near future. (RELATED: CNN Commentators Criticize Their Own Outlet’s Reporting On Kamala Harris)
Harris’ senior advisor and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders confirmed her intention to depart from the White House at the end of the year on Wednesday.
Director of press operations Peter Velz and deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs Vince Evans have also informed Harris’ office of their intent to leave, according to the Washington Post.
In June, individuals familiar with Harris’ office criticized the work environment and the poor treatment of lower-level staffers mainly facilitated by the vice president’s chief of staff Tina Flournoy.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” an anonymous source said. “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 shit.”
Top White House aides, including Sanders and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, defended the vice president against harsh criticisms brought against her with claims that the allegations brought against her office are meant to “damage” her.