(Fwrd Axis) — Symone Sanders, the senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the Biden administration at the end of the year, according to officials familiar with the matter.
Sanders joined the White House team after with Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, where she served as a senior adviser. She was also the national press secretary for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
CNN was the first to report the story of Sanders’ departure from the White House.
Harris has been facing months of public criticism and low poll numbers. Back in February, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin was frustrated with the White House after Harris promoted the American Rescue Plan, saying he did not get a heads up.
Prior to that, Harris botched an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt for not visiting the US-Mexico border as vice president. Sanders is the second high profile name to leave Harris’ team after Ashley Etienne, Harris’ communications director, is set to depart in just weeks.
Harris’ time as vice president has been filled with bad press, disorder, and reports of dysfunction within the West Wing. Harris’ friend and Democrat lawyer Bakari Sellers has been vocal about saying Biden handed Harris policy issues that were destined for failure and not given what she needed to succeed as vice president.
A White House official said both President Joe Biden and the vice president have “known for a while” about Sanders’ decision.
Sanders has been vocal about defending Harris, especially after her recent trip in November when she visited France to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“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,” she wrote.