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Kamala Harris is a ‘bully’ who delivers ‘constant soul-destroying criticism’, say ex-staff

·2-min read
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the media at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. December 2, 2021 - Chris Keane/Reuters
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the media at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. December 2, 2021 - Chris Keane/Reuters

Kamala Harris has been denounced by former staff as a "bully" who inflicted "constant soul destroying criticism" on them.

Ex-aides said the US vice-president had a long record of "burning through staff". One former staff member, who was supportive of her, compared her management style to that of Donald Trump.

He suggested that, if she was a man, Ms Harris would "have a show called The Apprentice".

The extraordinary claims came after the Washington Post, in an exhaustive investigation, spoke to 18 former aides stretching back over Ms Harris's career as a prosecutor and politician.

Over the last week, Ms Harris has seen an exodus of four staff members, including her communications director and press secretary.

There have been reports of dysfunction in her office, as there were on the campaign trail in 2020.

That has not helped her popularity and her approval ratings remain in the low 40s, making her one of the most unpopular vice-presidents of modern times.

One former aide - not one of the four who left recently - told the Washington Post: "It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work.

"With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence.

"So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why."

Gil Duran, who worked for Ms Harris for five months in 2013, when she was the attorney general of California, said Ms Harris was displaying the same "destructive patterns" as in the past.

He said: "One of the things we’ve said in our little text groups among each other is what is the common denominator through all this, and it’s her.

“Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have [them] pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons?"

Sean Clegg, who worked for Ms Harris in 2008, when she was the San Francisco district attorney, was supportive.

He said: "I’ve never had an experience in my long history with Kamala where I felt like she was unfair.

"Has she called bulls---? Yes. And does that make people uncomfortable sometimes? Yes.

"But if she were a man with her management style, she would have a TV show called 'The Apprentice'."

Many politicians, including Joe Biden are surrounded by members of staff who have worked for them for decades.

But Ms Harris's history with staff means only two in her current office worked for her before last year.

The White House has said that the recent departures were long planned and not a result of dysfunction in her office.

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