Kamala Harris’s incoming communications director Jamal Simmons once ridiculed a ‘dazed and confused’ Joe Biden for conflating multiple stories while describing a trip to Afghanistan and criticized Donald Trump for pushing a ‘janky science vaccine’, it emerged on Friday.
Simmons was brought in as part of an overhaul of the vice presidency’s office. Simmons’s approval rating was at a low 32 percent and seven employees had quit since her disastrous border trip on May 25.
The veteran Democratic aide, TV commentator, mocked Biden in 2019 because of the gaffe during an episode entitled ‘Why You Should care’ on his show for The Hill.
“We do this story about once per week!” he quipped. ‘It’s what you get with Uncle Joe.’
The segment began with a headline reading “Dazed and Confused” as he explained the latest stumble made by the former vice-president, who had previously called himself a “gaffemachine”.
Simmons made the comments at a time when the Democratic nomination was wide open – and long before he would be brought on to try to right Harris’ struggling communications operation.
He recounted how Biden had ‘conflated’ multiple stories from his recent trip to Afghanistan at a town meeting. It turned out Biden got the timing wrong, the province wrong, along with key details – the story was about an Army soldier, not a Navy captain.
He says, “This is the God’s truth.” “My word as a Biden.”Simmons informs the camera that it wasn’t God’s truth.
Jamal Simmons has been involved with national politics since the Clinton administration. He was previously Al Gore’s deputy communications director. He was a media commentator for 2019 and did a segment about a ‘Dazed & Confused’ Joe Biden.
Simmons also criticised Harris’ bid for president after she suspended it, saying that she ‘pulledback in these very crucial moments.
He stated that she had ‘never really got comfortable getting outside of the pre-planned moment’ and criticized her for not capitalizing on her early bussing attack upon Biden in another clip found by Fox News. He also said that she had mishandled the complicated issue of Medicare for all during the primary.
Kamala Harris compares January 6, Pearl Harbor and 9/11
Kamala Harris, Vice-President, compared Jan. 6’s attack on Capitol to the bombings of Pearl Harbor and 911.
Harris said, “Certain dates echo through history, including dates which instantly remind all who have experienced them where they were and what their actions were, when our democracy was under attack,’ Harris continued. ‘December 7, 2001, September 11, 2001, and January 6, 2021.
Harris referred to civil rights struggles of the past century.
“The extremists who invaded these halls did not target the lives of elected leaders. They were attacking the institutions, the values and the ideals that generations upon generations of Americans marched, picketed, and died to defend.
“We cannot let our futures be decided by those who are bent on silence, overturning votes, and spreading lies and misinformation by a radical faction that may be new, but whose roots are old and deep.
Harris called the U.S. at the time the ‘oldest democracy’ in the world.
“I wonder how January 6 will be remembered?” Harris asked. Harris said. “Will it be remembered for being a moment that accelerated destruction of the oldest and most powerful democracy in the world?” Harris asked. Or a moment in which we decided to secure and reinforce our democracy for future generations?
In 430 B.C., the Greeks invented democracy. This means “for the people” and many communities like Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the UK’s Isle of Man have had so-called democracies that date back to the ninth century.
Simmons also went after former President Donald Trump on his coronavirus response – even calling life-saving vaccines under development ‘janky.’
‘Trump’s fatally ill-managed Coronavirus response seems to have turned voters off to him the way Katrina destroyed Bush’s political reputation, but pushing a janky science vaccine into the public for political purposes would turn incompetent culpability into intentional harm, he Tweet.
Biden’s coronavirus response has been centered on the need to urge people to get vaccinated.
Harris is bringing Simmons into her press shop to replace one of seven staffer’s she’s lost over the past six months amid her own communications challenges.
After Ashley Etienne, chief spokesperson, and communications director, took their leave in November/December respectively. Simmons will now join the team.
Sources informed The Hill that the White House expected to make an official announcement later Thursday.
Simmons is widely respected in Democratic circles. His entry comes as the vice-president’s office seeks a reset amid low poll numbers, headlines reporting dysfunction and bitter tension within his office.
Simmons has been involved with national politics since the Clinton administration. He was previously deputy communications director for Al Gore’s presidential campaign.
According to a source familiar with the matter, The Hill Simmons will likely’really shake things up’.
Simmons also worked as an aide to former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark and was chief of staff former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich.
He has also worked in media, and he frequents the cable news circuit.
Harris has now lost at least seven aides since her disastrous southern border trip on June 25 after her director of press operations Peter Velz confirmed Wednesday he is leaving his role with the White House.
Velz’s announcement is made amid a staff exodus due to reports that Velz is a ‘bully,’ who creates a hostile work environment. Other reports indicate tensions between Harris and Harris’ staff.
Velz tweeted Wednesday that “Today is the last day of my employment at the White House,” and that it was an honor. “I will forever be grateful to Vice-President Harris, the amazing Team @VP, as well as our work this year supporting this historic Administration.
“The White House is an incredible place to work. You’re surrounded with the most selfless and smart people who are doing their best to serve America’s people every day. It has been an absolute pleasure,’ he said.
Velz will begin his next job at the State Department’s Protocol team later in the month. Velz said he will continue to support President Joe Biden, Harris and their meetings with foreign delegations, leaders and international travelers.
He made his announcement the day after Vince Evans, a fellow staffer, confirmed that he was leaving the vice president’s offices to replace Kyle Anderson as executivedirector with the Congressional Black Caucus.
Velz (left), made his announcement the same day Vince Evans (right), confirmed his departure from Harris’ team
After reports that Velz was considering leaving the office amid a staff exodus, Velz confirmed his departure via a Wednesday tweet
Velz will join the State Department’s protocol team later in January
He posted two images: a throwback photo of him at the podium for the press briefing from 2021, and one in the current pose.
The departures of Evans and Velz are evidence of a staff exodus, despite reports of turmoil within the vice president’s offices.
Symone Sanders, Harris’ chief spokesperson, resigned at December’s end.
Peter Velz confirmed Wednesday he is leaving Vice President Kamala Harris’ team – making him the seventh staffer to depart since June
It came after Ashley Etienne, Harris’ former communications director, left in November.
Reports emerged that Harris’ failed Central America border and director of advance trip was followed by two other aides looking at the exits. Shortly after Harris’ failed Central America and border trip, Karly Satkowiak, Harris’ former director for advance, and Gabrielle DeFranceschi, his deputy director for advance, departed.
Staff members on the VP’s advance team are responsible to plan all of her trips, surveying locations for her to visit, and working with local officials in preparation venues for media coverage.
At the time of Satkowiak’s and DeFranceschi’s departure from Harris’ team it was not clear why they were leaving – but it did fuel further rumors of workplace tensions.
Rajan Kaur, Harris’ director of digital strategies, left her staff in July after she decided not to relocate from Brooklyn to Washington D.C.
According to a new survey, Harris’ approval rating for a job is 32%. USA Today/Suffolk University PollTuesday release. This is a terrible rating but it is 4 percent more than the November poll, where her approval was only 28%.
Evans will be moving on from the office of the vice president and will work closely alongside Representative Joyce Beatty, Ohio, CBC Chairwoman.
Evans stated that he began his career in Washington as a member of CBC. He knows firsthand the incredible leadership and impact this caucus makes in Congress and across the nation. “As we begin the next chapter of our CBC story, I am excited to share my passion and expertise in supporting the collective vision of this storied group.
Evans (right), stated that he will be leaving the office of Vice President Kamala Harris (left), to become executive Director with the Congressional Black Caucus
On Tuesday, Velz sent Evans his congratulations via Twitter
Velz tweeted Tuesday about Evans’ new position: “Congratulations, absolute KING and MVP Team VP!” Adore this man — one of the best colleagues and friends you can ask for.’
‘I’m so happy that you continue fighting for the good fight and continue doing great things with the Congressional Black Caucus. We love you. [Vince Evans]!’ He added a picture of them together.
Reports revealedVelz, the current director of press operations for Harris has also informed those in his office that he is leaving.
Evans joins CBC. There are seven members of the 56 member caucus that have already declared they won’t be running for reelection in the upcoming midterms. This includes the CBC’s veteran members, as well as Democratic Representatives Brenda Lawrence of Michigan and Bobby Rush of Illinois, who were the only lawmakers to defeat Barack Obama in a parliamentary election.
Other CBC members seeking other offices include Representatives Karen Bass from California, Anthony Brown from Maryland and Val Demings from Florida – all Democrats.
As the party struggles to maintain its razor-thin majority in both chambers, 25 House Democrats have announced that they will not be seeking reelection as of Wednesday morning.
Evans will be serving as chief of staff for one the most influential caucuses in Congress in his new role at CBC. His duties include overseeing the day-to-day activities and working with top aides to coordinate legislative agendas and priorities.
Evans is a Florida native. He began his political career as an assistant to a Tallahassee City Commissioner. He later became a staffer at the Florida state Senate, and served on the senior staff for Florida Representative Al Lawson.
Evans was the Southern political coordinator for Joe Biden in 2020 and was also the political advisor for Harris when she became vice presidential nominee.
Symone Sanders (left), Harris’ senior adviser and chief spokesperson, resigned from the White House in 2021. It happened after Ashley Etienne (right), Harris’ former communications director, left the White House in November
Officials maintain that Sanders’s and Etienne’s departures were planned for a long time and are not evidence in the turmoil being reported.
Additionally, Sanders is reportedly getting married next year. She was not able, according to reports, to go on a proper touring tour to sell her book, No, You Shut Up, that was published in May 2020.
Sanders, 32, defended her former boss during an interview published MondayIn her hometown newspaper Omaha World-Herald she claimed it was the ‘honor her life’ to be Vice President Harris.
Sanders stated, “She is someone I watch every day bring her whole self to work,” She is a leader and a challenger to her teams. She pushes us all towards greater success.
She added: ‘I watch her raise issues and perspectives and topics and policy that other people — other folks just weren’t thinking about.’
Sanders called the reports and rumors about dysfunction in Harris’ office’salacious gossip’
Many believed that Sanders’s departure was evidence that Harris’s office was in chaos, with headlines about a toxic workplace and the exodus key personnel.
However, there were some stories that pointed out Sanders’s fault.
Two anonymous sources revealed to The Hill that Harris’s communications director saw the spokeswoman as a rival and that she was the voice in many blind quotes about friction in office.
The Washington Post publishedDecember saw Harris exposed as a ‘bully’ and her office staff were subject to ‘constant-soul-destroying critics’.
The article is based on interviews with 18 people who were connected to the VP. It alleges Harris didn’t read briefings she had prepared and then turned on them if she was later criticized for not being prepared.
The claims from staff who worked for Harris were published amid confirmed departures of two high level staffers, with two others who are said to be heading for the door too.
“It’s obvious that you don’t work with someone who is willing and able to do the prep, and the work,” a former colleague told The Washington Post.
Kamala must endure constant criticism from her inner critics and her own lack of confidence.
“So you’re constantly sorting of propping up bullies and it’s really not clear why.” Harris’s staff
Gil Duran, a Gil Duran employee who worked with Harris for only five months before quitting, stated that Harris was’repeating the old destructive patterns.
He wrote this in his San Francisco Examiner column: “One thing we’ve said among each other in our little texts groups is what is common denominator throughout all of this and that’s her.”
Duran explained to the Post that one of the things she’s said in their little text groups is what is the common factor through all this. Duran said it was her. “Who are the next talented people you plan to bring in and then burn through and then have them pretend they’re resigning for positive reasons?”
People who are familiarized with the conversations Tell PoliticoHarris’ orbit is attracting more “key members” and are interested in leaving her vice presidency after less than one year.
Some Democratic allies have urged Harris to embrace the concept of a reset after a rocky first year as vice president, which has been riddled with project failures – like addressing the southern border crisis – and reports of tensions between her team and the president’s.
Her poll ratings have plummeted and top Democrats are appalled that she could run for president in 2024, should Joe Biden not seek a second term.
Harris’ staff are leaving because Harris is burnt out, there are better opportunities and they don’t want the stigma of being a Harris person forever. According to Axios.
Harris managed to dispel rumors of tension during a gaggle she hosted on her North Carolina trip last year.
The vice president declared, “I love Symone.” ‘And that is what I mean.
“I can’t wait for what she will do next. I know that it’s been three years jumping on and off planes, going around the country …’ Harris continued.
Sanders joined President Joe Biden in his presidential campaign in 2019.
Harris declined to answer any further questions regarding the wave of departures.
Harris said, “Well, you know what I feel about Symone.”
During the trip, Harris’ personal aide, Opal Vadhan, posted a photo of the VP’s team all smiling as they celebrated the birthday of Deputy Director of Advance, Juan Ortega.
“Happy Birthday, @JuanoBano!” is a favorite tradition in the @VP’s office. Happy Birthday @JuanoBano She wrote.
Harris was in Charlotte to visit a public transit facility and make a speech on the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill with Pete Buttigieg.
Before they boarded Air Force Two, she hugged the Transportation secretary. Buttigieg then answered questions from a group of reporters before she boarded Air Force Two.
Some Democrats are pushing Buttigieg for Harris’ replacement at the top of their ticket in 2024, despite poll numbers in high 20s.
The White House insists Biden intends to run again. However, he will turn 82 in 2024.
Harris rebuffed claims that she was being misunderstood as vice president. She said she doesn’t feel underutilized by Biden. Harris also dismissed her low approval ratings, which fell to 28% in a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll earlier this month.
Harris said, “Polls go up and they go down.” “But I think the most important thing is that we stay consistent with what we need do to address the issues that are presented to us at this moment.
Sanders’ replacement has not been announced, prompting questions about the circumstances surrounding her departure.
Harris has been confronted with mounting reports that her office was in disarray. Harris also reported that her team is frustrated that she is being given ‘no-win” tasks that don’t fit her skill set such as addressing the ‘root causes’ of the recent border crisis.
Jen Psaki, White House press Secretary, stated that working in the first years of an administration is grueling and exhausting.
She stated that it is natural for employees who have put their heart into a job to be ready for a new challenge after a few years.
Psaki praised Sanders’ work in the administration and said that Sanders ‘has charisma coming from her eyes.’
Psaki stated that it was natural for staffers who have put their heart and soul into a job, to be ready to move on after a few years.
Harris was often accompanied by Sanders, and Sanders served as a senior advisor to Harris, helping her manage a complex portfolio that included the migrant issue. She also helped push for a comprehensive federal overhaul of election laws.
Harris’ approval ratings have plunged since Harris took office, which threatens what would normally make it an easy path to the Democratic presidential nominee in 2028 or 2024 if Biden doesn’t seek reelection at age 81.
Sanders has been Harris’ top bulldog protector in the midst of the turmoil. He batted back against claims of internal disarraysm and tension with West Wing.
Last month, Sanders was first to respond in detail to a CNN investigation in which Harris aides claimed she was being set up to fail and was given a portfolio not proportional to her historic status of the first woman, and first women of color, to hold vice president’s offices.
“They’re constantly sending her out there on losing problems in the wrong situations for the skill set,” said a Harris aide who was a high-ranking former aide in the bombshell.
Sanders fired back in a statement: ‘It is unfortunate that after a productive trip to France in which we reaffirmed our relationship with America’s oldest ally and demonstrated U.S. leadership on the world stage, and following passage of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and strengthen our communities, some in the media are focused on gossip – not on the results that the President and the Vice President have delivered.’
Sanders (right), Harris’ top bulldog protector, bats back at claims that Harris is in turmoil and tension with West Wing
A representative from the office of the vice president pointed out to Politico Sanders was a former Biden campaign aide and had been working for the administration in some capacity over the past three years. He also said that Harris and Biden had known about her departure ‘for awhile’.
Etienne’s intention to leave was confirmed by Etienne on November 18.
“Ashley has been a valuable member of the Vice-President’s team and has worked tirelessly in advancing the administration’s goals,” said a White House official. According to a White House official, she is leaving the office in December in order to pursue other opportunities.
Both Harris, and Biden have denied any tension between themselves. They also denied reports that were largely based upon anonymous staffers’ accounts.
After a briefing, the White House jumped into full-throated defense of her. CNN report claimed Biden was distancing himself from Harris because of her sliding poll numbers, while the vice president is said to have felt isolated and frustrated with being given some of the most difficult issues for the administration in her portfolio.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted Harris is an ‘incredible leader’ and Psaki argued Harris receives more criticism because of her status as a woman of color.
Harris is the nation’s first female vice president, and the first vice president of people of color.
Although the president has publicly stated that he will run again, pundits believe that announcing that he intends not to stand down after a single term would make him a lame duck leader.
However, there has been some chatter among Democrats that Harris should replace Harris if he does.
Another speculation is that Harris might not be the strongest candidate to replace him if he doesn’t run again. Some suggest that Buttigieg is a better candidate to win the nomination.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll at the end of 2021 showed the transportation secretary with a higher favorability rating than both Biden and Harris – whom he led by 12 points.