The Columbus Dispatch

Top aide to leave White House

Harris spokespers­on Sanders 2nd to depart

- Courtney Subramania­n

WASHINGTON – Symone Sanders, Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief spokespers­on and senior adviser, is leaving the White House at the end of the year, according to an administra­tion official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the announceme­nt.

The announceme­nt follows a string of media reports of turmoil within the vice president’s office and tension between Harris and the West Wing. White House officials and Harris herself have disputed those claims but Sanders’ exit marks the second departure from the vice president’s office within weeks.

Ashley Etienne, Harris’ communicat­ions director, announced last month she would leave her role to “pursue other opportunit­ies.”

Harris, the first female vice president and the first Black and South Asian American person to hold the office, has been a frequent target of criticism for her role overseeing intractabl­e issues like addressing the root causes of immigratio­n, voting rights and access to abortion.

Her poll numbers reflect the political challenge. A USA Today/suffolk poll released last month shows 28% of Americans approve of her job performanc­e.

Sanders, 31, has been one of Harris’ fiercest defenders. She served as a spokespers­on for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., before joining the Biden campaign as an adviser for his 2020 bid.

Sanders did not immediatel­y return a call for comment on news of her departure.

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