Bill Clinton Joins Defense of Harris' Chief of Staff

Biden, Mitch McConnell aides express support for Tina Flournoy
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2021 4:55 PM CDT
Bill Clinton Joins Defense of Harris' Chief of Staff
Vice President Kamala Harris talks to reporters last week in El Paso, Texas.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

White House staff members, past associates, and even former President Bill Clinton have come to the defense of Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief of staff after reports that the two run a dysfunctional office. "It's a whisper campaign designed to sabotage" Harris, said Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to President Biden. Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, issued a statement saying, "The President's trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together," Axios reports. Tina Flournoy, Harris' chief of staff, ran Clinton's office after he left the presidency. "She has a unique ability to focus on the big picture and adapt to changing conditions," he said in a statement, per CNBC. "And she does it all with a great sense of humor." Clinton added that he was fortunate to have had Flournoy as his chief of staff, saying, "She’s an extraordinary person."

Matt McKenna, who was a spokesperson for Clinton during part of that period, said Flournoy improved the operation by bringing structure to it. But other former Clinton aides spoke differently about her tenure, saying she yelled at people who asked for favors from Clinton and his wife, Hillary. "It was shocking," said one person who claimed to be a recipient. A former chief of staff to Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell defended Flournoy on Twitter, dismissing complaints about how hard it is to get time with Harris. "Welcome to the White House," Steven Law tweeted. A veteran aide to Biden said Flournoy has a difficult job, per the Hill: "I don't think people realize how tough it is to manage a demanding principal who doesn't want to make mistakes and a young staff with very little executive branch experience." (Read more Kamala Harris stories.)

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