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Tipsheet

Kamala Harris Sits Down for Interview: 'There is Nothing About This Job That is Supposed to Be Easy'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for an interview with a local California newspaper, saying she will not be distracted by "ridiculous" headlines, likely referring to a slew of reports showing turmoil in her office.

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Two of Harris’ staffers – communications director Ashley Etienne and senior adviser to the vice president and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders – recently announced their departures from the vice president's office, leading to media coverage suggesting a negative work environment that has plagued Harris ever since she was sworn into office back in January. 

And earlier this month, POLITICO reported that additional aides may soon leave the vice president's office as well, while a former staffer who worked under Harris prior to her role as the vice president explained to The Washington Post that Harris is a "bully" who puts her employees through "a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism." 

In an interview published Sunday by the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris dismissed any questions about the reported dysfunction in her office, claiming such headlines are "ridiculous," and attributed such scrutiny to her being a high-profile target in the Biden administration. She also declined to comment on whether she has any regrets about her time in office thus far.

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"There is nothing about this job that is supposed to be easy," Harris said. "If something is coming to me, it’s because it needs to be addressed and because, by definition, it’s not going to be easy. If it was easy, it would have been handled before it comes to me."

Additionally, the former California senator expressed her desire to travel more come 2022, saying, "I love people, and there’s so much that we are doing that is directly impacting and with the people in mind."

She noted that, after "two years of COVID," she believes that the level of "undiagnosed trauma that people have experienced, the level of anxiety, it’s real." 

"And I have always felt that my responsibility as an elected leader is to go to the people, especially when their needs must be addressed and they must know that they are being seen and being heard," she said.

Harris also alluded to the unique relationship she has with President Joe Biden, citing his experience as a vice president under former President Barack Obama.

"One of the benefits that I have ... is that my president was vice president," she said. "He really appreciates and understands the role, and he’s extremely supportive. I recognize that to be something special. ... And so that has influenced a great deal of what this experience has been for me."

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She added that she and Biden are "governing partners" who have trust in one another, and claiming that the president tasking her with the crisis at the southern border was evidence of this.

"He can’t do everything, and so on an issue like the root causes of migration, he looks to me because he trusts me, and he understands the position and the work that can be done by the vice president," Harris said. "And he asked me to take certain things on because he can’t do everything, and I’ll willingly do it."

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