Politics

Former Harris Aide Pushes Back on Negative Coverage

Former white house staffer speaks one on one with Barrington Williams.

B. Williams: Thanks for agreeing to speak with me I know you’ve been really busy lately

Unnamed: It’s no problem, it’s just been really hectic the last couple of weeks, I would’ve responded sooner if I had the time.

B. Williams: So let’s start. How long have you worked in politics?

Unnamed: Almost 20 years. I’ve worked for the Clintons, Obama, and Biden administrations as a aide and have worked on Capitol Hill on and off for I’d say 19 years in total.

B. Williams: What has your experiences working in the white house as a Black woman entailed?

Unnamed: That’s a really big question. Mostly a lot of learning to work with flamboyant personalities, a lot of dealing with bravado and a lot of late nights doing work that you know if you don’t get done all of the blame for the team will fall on you. But my experience has been mostly good, I’ve met a lot of good people.

B. Williams: So what’s happening with the Harris office? Are any of the rumors going around true?

Unnamed: Rumors like what? I haven’t heard rumors; I’ve just seen bad press.

B. Williams: Rumors surrounding chaos in her office, people not being able to work together, people quitting and so on.

Unnamed: Well her office is not in chaos and we can work with other people its just some difficult scenarios have come up and there have been some bumps in the road but nothing to the extent that the media is making it.

B. Williams: Okay lets go with bumps in the road. Those bumps must have been significant right? We’ve seen Ashley Etienne and several other staffers leave. And there isn’t a day that goes by where her office isn’t under scrutiny for Harris’s handling of questions relating to..well any topic.

Unnamed: Sure I can agree there have been some hiccups but they haven’t hampered her ability to lead in my opinion.

B. Williams: It seems like a large portion of Americans don’t agree with you, her poll numbers are as low as ever.

Unnamed: I knew that was coming and we’ve discussed this, that the Gallup’ often cherry picks samples to pull data from and you know this.

B. Williams: There are other polls to support my assertion.

Unnamed: I know, but the most notable one you routinely mention is the Gallup’, and they’re empirically biased.

B. Williams: Can’t disagree with you there.

Unnamed: You remember how they handled the reparations data last year? They twisted it all around.

B. Williams: I know, I remember. So you say you were forced to resign. Under what pretences were you asked to leave?

Unnamed: Well it wasn’t just me in specific; there were a wave of us hit over a 3 week period, it was like 10 of us. Well from when I was there at least 10, it could be more now. It was kind of  like a purge of sorts.

B. Williams: So it was a mass firing? Alright, why did they want so many of you gone?

Unnamed: Where do I start? The arguments? The unrealistic deadlines? The passive-aggressive behavior to all of us including Kamala. I personally believe its because of all of the friction between him and our office, and he never really liked her, plus the situations with her getting into small arguments with his wife didn’t help.

B. Williams: Unrealistic deadlines like what?

Unnamed: Like last minute edits to daily briefings, that way when we came to hand it at last minute it would make us look stupid or unprepared. Or not inviting us to meetings or just lying about where a meeting would be held so we would come in late. It was real sophomoric stuff.

B. Williams: So old Joe had it out for you guys, huh?

Unnamed: I didn’t say all of that I just said some of his staff was hard to deal with.

B. Williams: What about the Kamala vs Jill incident. So Kamala and Jill were arguing. Over what?

 Unnamed: Not so much arguing just kinda getting into spats over nothing. I didn’t even understand why she (Jill Biden) was around the white house everyday because usually first ladies are on tour and doing a bunch of speaking engagements but yeah, they definitely bumped heads a little bit.

B. Williams: Wait a minute, wait. You’re telling me that the first lady of the US and the VP were petty bickering?

“Not bickering but getting into disagreements and I believe..I personally believe that it started with them not being on the same page with each other after the primaries. I mean we all know what was said and there were some shots taken on both sides, it was a nasty primary this run.

B. Williams: Do you think there’s bad blood between Biden and Harris? Joe not Jill.

Unnamed: Kamala has always tried to work with whoever was put in front of her, and what was said in the debates were just that– critiques in a debate.

B. Williams: That sounds rehearsed.

Unnamed: Whatever your opinions are it’s the truth.

B. Williams: So what was the official reasoning given to you all for the resignation?

Unnamed: It wasn’t a resignation they just allowed us to leave without a ‘blemish’, but it was because they said that we weren’t keeping up with task and we were missing too many important deadlines. They stressed it was nothing personal but they wanted to send some of their aides to look into how the office was working and if they could resolve any ‘problems’ between us and the other teams.

B. Williams: What deadlines or task in specific weren’t getting taken care of?

Unnamed: Like I said, in my opinion we were keeping up just fine, its just that they wanted to see us go. I mean I’ve never been a part of a administration that made me feel so unwelcome—from the inauguration where they made Harris’s campaign staff stand in the back by the band, to us not getting our work equipment until well into a month of working. They obviously had it out for us from day 1.

B. Williams: Do you think its anti-Black racism on Biden’s behalf?

Unnamed: I don’t think its that things just didn’t work out, and I don’t really want to get into the personal beef between him and her.

Unnamed: Truth be told with all of the timing I actually thought it was because of all of the bad press we were getting surround the Haitian issue. I think that they really just wanted someone to blame, I mean she was given the border role like a month beforehand and then that situation happened and it was like the perfect storm.

B. Williams: Plus the whole situation with Ashley leaving probably left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth right? She’s Haitian you know.

Unnamed: It was definitely sudden, and although we all work well together I really miss her.

B. Williams: Lets go to a less somber issue.

Unnamed: Lets.

B. Williams: Why do you think Kamala is so unpopular?

Unnamed: I think it’s because she’s a Black woman. The media always comes against us—or women of color. You remember the debates, and how they constantly made it seem like she was interrupting and being the ‘angry Black woman’ or labeled as unreasonable.

B. Williams: She was interrupting.

Unnamed: Okay, well you guys don’t like her in the first place.

B. Williams: That’s not true, we’re critical of Kamala because its our journalistic duty to the Black grassroots. We don’t have anything personal against her.

Unnamed: Well I don’t think she was trying to interrupt, and I don’t understand why the community has such a issue with her.

B. Williams:. There’s a lot of reasons people have stated publicly for as to why they don’t like her, but you mentioned the community’s opinion of her. What about Black people’s opinion of her?

Unnamed: I know some in our community have issues with her for whatever reason, but she’s a Black woman and she’s trying, so I don’t get why you guys target her. I think sometimes you guys are too hard on her.

B. Williams: Do you feel any of the criticisms are warranted?

Unnamed: Sure, its just that we feel like in your guy’s view she can do nothing right. And I think you’re being unfair or you have some personal vendetta against her.

B. Williams: What has Kamala offered to Black voters? Besides being a Black face, allegedly at that.

Unnamed: She’s talked to Black leaders and held councils on Black businesses. She met with the divine 9 and stood by us for George Floyd.

B. Williams: How did she stand by George Floyd?  She was in no way helpful to getting Chauvin convicted. Plus Isn’t her entire persona that of a prosecutor? What about her own track record in California?

Unnamed: She publicly said that it was a atrocity and that she wanted to see justice done and even if she wasn’t in the court room her statements sway people.

B. Williams: While I’ll disagree with you, that still doesn’t address her record and current existence as a prosecutor, right?

Unnamed: Maybe not, but I think her speaking out made a difference.

B. Williams: What about tangibles. Black Americans are at our economic end, shouldn’t reparations be at the front of out minds. They’re talking about giving illegal migrants half a million dollar checks.

Unnamed: She’s spoken to councils on Black issues, and she endorses HR40.

B. Williams: HR40 isn’t cash payment reparations, and speaking to councils doesn’t directly help Black citizens today.

Unnamed: Well we’ll have to agree to disagree.

B. Williams: I suppose we will.

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