Now Kamala’s Chief of Staff leaves: Tiny Flournoy becomes VP’s most senior aide to join exodus

Kamala Harris‘ chief of staff Tina Flournoy is leaving the vice president’s staff, making her the most senior member of staff exodus that has been taking place for months.

The news comes just weeks after it was revealed that her deputy chief of staff is also leaving. 

Harris’ office has already seen the departure of high profile figures including her former senior advisor Symone Sanders. 

Tina Flournoy Kamala Harris’ Chief of Staff, is leaving her post, it was revealed Thursday

Flournoy is a longtime Democratic operative who served as Bill Clinton‘s chief of staff when he left the White House, and traveling chief of staff for 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman.

Her successor, Lorraine Voles, also has deep Clinton ties, and was an advisor to 2008 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during her campaign. 

She joined the Harris team last summer. 

Flournoy is the 12th member of Harris’ staff to depart, after a series of reports about internal conflicts.

The list of those leaving now includes her deputy chief of staff, her speechwriter, her chief spokeswoman, her security advisor, and other figures in her staff. 

‘Tina has been a valued advisor and confidant to me and tremendous leader for the office,’ Harris said in a written release. ‘Tina is the consummate public servant and I will continue to rely on her advice, counsel and friendship.’ 

The 12 staffers who have left or are leaving Harris’ office since June 

Tina Flournoy, chief of staff 

Michael Fuchs, deputy chief of staff 

Nancy McEldowney, National Security Adviser

Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary

Kate Childs Graham, head speechwriter 

Symone Sanders, senior adviser and chief spokesperson

Ashley Etienne, communications director  

Peter Velz, director of press operations 

Vince Evans, senior aide 

Karly Satkowiak, director of advance

Gabrielle DeFranceschi, deputy director of advance 

Rajan Kaur, director of digital strategies 

The struggles continue to cause headaches for Harris. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki fielded yet another question from a Fox News correspondent about how Harris’ designated effort to address ‘root causes’ of migration, even as illegal immigration continues at the southern border. 

She was asked if Biden still had ‘confidence’ in Harris, given her role. 

‘He absolutely does and is grateful for her work in doing exactly that,’ Psaki responded. 

The Washington Post reported on Flournoy’s departure,  just weeks after it was revealed that deputy chief of staff Michael Fuchs is set to leave the administration in May.

Fuchs has advised Harris on domestic and international issues, helped manage staff and accompanied her on foreign trips, and had ties to both Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama. 

It all comes at a time of increased scrutiny on the White House ahead of 2024, following a report that Biden told Obama he plans to run again.

Both Biden and Harris have low public approval ratings. 

The news broke on a day when Harris is on the West Coast, with events in San Francisco including a speech on the maternal health crisis before returning home to Los Angeles. 

Staffers in the vice president’s office have been jumping ship after a year full of messaging blunders and a barrage of personal attacks on the VP, combined with viral rumors of toxicity within the office and tensions between Harris’s and President Biden’s offices. 

Kirsten Allen has joined Harris staff as her new press secretary, moving over from the Department of Health and Human services (HHS) after three high-profile departures in the VP’s press shop. 

Jamal Simmons joined Harris’ staff as communications director. 

The announcement of Allen’s hiring came just after juicy details of tension and chaos in the VP’s office have trickled out in leaked excerpts of ‘This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,’ by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. 

News of the latest staff departure comes as Harris had events in California

News of the latest staff departure comes as Harris had events in California

Lorraine Voles is a longtime Democratic operative who will succeed Flournoy as chief of staff

Lorraine Voles is a longtime Democratic operative who will succeed Flournoy as chief of staff

Harris’ office kicked up a fuss over a Vogue cover that pictured the vice president in sneakers before being told to back down by President Biden’s office who said concerns over the cover were ‘first world problems,’ according to the book. 

Harris reportedly sent out her chief of staff to scold Biden’s staffers for not standing up when she entered the room, the way they do for the president, and her some in her office complained about Biden’s ‘all-white inner circle.’ 

They complained about Harris being assigned to work on immigration with Northern Triangle countries, and the VP herself hissed at Biden for calling her ‘border czar,’ insisting she was focused on the ‘root causes,’ according to the book.  

There has been a stream of more than 10 departures since June. The vice president’s office could employ up to around 50 staffers at any given time. Some turnover is ordinary in any administration, including after the first year or so.

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