“I have to push back heavily on this article and throw a little cold water on it,” the CNN political analyst said.
CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers is defending Vice President Kamala Harris against CNN’s latest bombshell exposé about the alleged toxicity and dysfunction in her office.
The lengthy CNN piece — by Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jasmine Wright, features testimony from “nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers,” regarding Harris’ job performance and tense relationship with President Joe Biden.
The sources cast Harris in a harsh light.
Bakari Sellers attends UCLA’s 2018 Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Gala on March 22, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Sellers, who endorsed Harris in her 2020 presidential bid, condemned the report, saying “I have to push back heavily on this article and throw a little cold water on it.”
Sellers continued. “I’ve spent a lot of time recently with the vice president’s office and no one is frantic.”
Sellers noted that Harris “performed extremely well” on her trip to France, but “the only thing they mentioned about the French trip was the right-wing trope that somehow she was utilizing a French accent in saying ‘the’ instead of ‘the.’”
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“When you have these articles come out it puts a lot of us in a defensive posture because we see that a lot of people are treating Kamala Harris the same way they treated Hillary Clinton, which is attempting to end her political career in a death by a million cuts,” he added.
“The fact is, she’s come into this being a great team player because there was a thought that she would not be a team player, and she’s been nothing but a great team player,” Sellers continued.
On Sunday, CNN published the behind-the-scenes exposé on Harris’ journey as VP so far. Per the report, the Biden and Harris teams continue to be at odds over tasks assigned to Harris that put her in “no-win political situation[s]” that will “only sandbag her in the future”… such as the southern border crisis.
Harris reportedly told Biden staffers directly that she “didn’t want to be assigned to manage the border,” but got stuck overseeing it anyway and allegedly had a flippant attitude about it. The CNN report also alleges that Harris fosters a toxic workplace environment and relies heavily on her sister Maya Harris.
“She’s very honored and very proud to be vice president of the United States. Her job as the No. 2 is to be helpful and supportive to the President and to take on work that he asks her to take on,” said Eleni Kounalakis, the lieutenant governor of California and a longtime friend of the vice president.
Vice President Kamala Harris hugs President Joe Biden during the signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the South Lawn at the White House on Nov. 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
“It is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be,” Kounalakis said. “That’s where the frustration is coming from.”
“Defenders and people who care for Harris are getting frantic,” CNN’s Dovere and Wright reported, adding, “She’s perceived to be in such a weak position that top Democrats in and outside of Washington have begun to speculate privately, asking each other why the White House has allowed her to become so hobbled in the public consciousness, at least as they see it.”
The CNN piece prompted White House press secretary Jen Psaki to tweet in a defense of Harris, writing: “For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband.”
Symone Sanders, senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the vice president, also chimed in, writing, “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 Vice President have delivered.”
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