Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy questioned White House press secretary Jen Psaki over the news that Symone Sanders, a top aide to Vice President Kamala Harris, had announced her departure.
“A handful of key aides have announced either that they are leaving the vice president’s office or are reportedly going to be leaving the vice president’s office soon,” Doocy began. “Is the vice president not satisfied with the staffing that she has had so far? Or do people just not want to work for her anymore?”
DOOCY TIME: “A handful of key aides have announced either that they are leaving the Vice President’s office or are reportedly going to be…soon. Is the Vice President not satisfied with the staffing that she has…or do people just not want to work for her anymore?” pic.twitter.com/mgaXTZ8h3z
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 2, 2021
Psaki pushed back, saying that working on presidential campaigns — which Sanders did prior to becoming a part of Harris’ team — and working in the White House could be both rewarding and exhausting, and that it was perfectly understandable that some would choose to move on from that environment to new opportunities.
“I would say working on a presidential campaign — maybe covering one too, to be fair — and working in the first year of a White House is grueling and exhausting and rewarding,” Psaki said. “I would just note there has been an announcement about Symone Sanders departing but hasn’t been official announcements about others. I would leave it to them and the vice president’s team to make any additional announcements.”
Psaki went on to say that it was natural for staffers to move on and it was “an opportunity” for the White House to “bring in new faces, new voices and new perspectives,” she added. “And I expect you will hear more from the vice president’s office in due time.”
“This is not a case of bad headlines about the vice president and a decision being made to shake up the staff to fix an image issue?” Doocy pressed again.
Psaki did not directly answer the question, and instead countered by saying that she knew Sanders well and expected her to continue to excel at any job she chose to take.
“She is somebody, and anybody who spends time with her knows, she is whip smart and she has charisma coming out of her eyeballs and will do plenty of interesting things in the world in the future,” Psaki continued. “She will always be a part of this Biden/Harris family and only natural after a couple of years to be ready for something new.”
Doocy tried one additional angle, asking, “Does the vice president think staff are to blame for her not making meaningful progress on the big things like passing voting rights or addressing the root causes of migration?”
“The vice president is grateful to all the staff who served her and also understands the excitement and grueling nature of working on a campaign and working in a White House,” Psaki replied. “And again as I noted earlier, it is also an opportunity to bring in new faces and perspectives which is a very positive thing.”