Kamala Harris' Communications Chief Is Out

Ashley Etienne's resignation news comes amid reports of 'disarray' in VP's office
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2021 12:53 AM CST
Top Kamala Harris Aide Is Leaving White House
Vice President Kamala Harris, left, speaks before a meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in her office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A top aide for Vice President Kamala Harris is exiting the White House. Ashley Etienne, the VP's communications chief, is leaving the administration next month to pursue other opportunities, a White House official tells CNN. Shortly after she joined the team following the 2020 election, Etienne told Vanity Fair's Abigail Tracy she'd only stay in the role one year, and Tracy writes that it's not unusual for aides to leave after a year. Even so, her exit comes as "unflattering" news articles about the VP's office abound, Tracy writes, with rumors of "infighting and low morale." Indeed, CNN's sources say multiple members of Harris' staff are looking to get out.

Harris herself addressed the reports Thursday on Good Morning America, insisting she doesn't feel she's being under-utilized by the Biden administration and that her team and the president's team are working together well. Two sources tell CNN Etienne's departure was expected, with one saying she "was not a good fit" for the VP's office. There are no immediate plans for her replacement. "I'm always concerned when I read headlines that are not complimentary ... but headlines are headlines," House Democratic Whip Rep. James Clyburn told CNN after the exit news broke. "People leave jobs all the time." (Read more Kamala Harris stories.)

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