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Kamala Harris ridiculed for puff piece on her office decorations amid crisis at southern border


A portion of Harris’ interview published on Sunday night makes no mention of her sinking poll numbers or staffing crisis

Vice President Kamala Harris is being ridiculed on Monday for an interview published in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend that’s been mocked as a puff piece in which she explained the meaning behind the decorations in her West Wing office.  

The outlet tweeted the article on Sunday evening with the caption, ‘Kamala Harris has redecorated the VP’s office. Here’s the meaning behind her choices.’ 

Portions of the interview were published throughout the weekend. The latest story last night did not mention any of her policy positions or reactions to several members of her staff announcing their departure just days apart. 

Instead, the writer devoted seven paragraphs to detailing Harris’ artworks, family photographs and four entire sentences talking about a portrait of Thurgood Marshall.

Lawmakers, pundits and right-wing groups blasted Harris for having time to revamp her décor but not to visit the southwest border, all while the Biden administration has publicly aired its frustrations over a lack of positive media coverage. 

‘No time for the border…?’ Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said this morning while retweeting the piece.

Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois wrote in a similar vein, ‘Now that she is done with that, can she go to the border?’ 

One Harris skeptic replied to the Chronicle on Twitter with a screenshot mocking a Washington Post op-ed published just days earlier that made the case: ‘The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof.’

The official Twitter account for House Judiciary Republicans also commented on her apparently meticulous attention to her aesthetics, ‘Crazy how she doesn’t have time to visit the southern border.’

Pictured is an image from Harris' West Wing office published by the San Francisco Chronicle

Pictured is an image from Harris’ West Wing office published by the San Francisco Chronicle

GOP lawmakers noted the absence of any comments regarding the southern border, which Biden put Harris in charge of early on in his administration

GOP lawmakers noted the absence of any comments regarding the southern border, which Biden put Harris in charge of early on in his administration

One person pointed out the story stands in start contrast to an op-ed published in the Washington Post days earlier complaining about the Biden administration's media coverage

One person pointed out the story stands in start contrast to an op-ed published in the Washington Post days earlier complaining about the Biden administration’s media coverage

Abigail Marone, GOP Senator Josh Hawley’s press secretary, tweeted sarcastically that it was ‘good to see she’s finally focused in on the important things.’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman also joined in poking fun at the story, calling it ‘hard-hitting journalism.’

GOP Deputy Communications Director Nathan Brand implied the new aesthetic was a result of the internal upheaval among her staff.

‘When folks said she needed to “reset” her office, they didn’t mean to LITERALLY reset her office,’ Brand said on Twitter.

Members of Trump world also chimed in. Former US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell blasted the Chronicle as running ‘state-owned media coverage.’

‘This is embarrassing. The home state media for California Democrats is no different than state-owned media coverage. No excuses. The Chronicle is not journalism,’ Grenell declared. 

Nan Hayworth, a former US Congresswoman from New York and a member of Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign advisory board, derided Harris over a photo of her smiling in the piece. 

‘So reassuring to see that at least she’s kept the cackle,’ Hayworth wrote. 

Republicans have been mocking Harris and the Chronicle about the article since it was published last night

Republicans have been mocking Harris and the Chronicle about the article since it was published last night

Right-wing group Tea Party Patriots followed Grenell in taking aim at the SF Chronicle, tweeting out: ‘Did you get a chance to ask her about the border or do your “journalists” stick strictly to wallpaper?’

Even other journalists commented on Harris’ choice of a local paper for a wide-ranging interview.

‘Notable for Harris to choose her old hometown newspaper for an interview rather than a national one,’ Politico’s Alex Thompson wrote on Twitter alongside another portion of the sit-down.

‘It’s self-serving to say talk to Politico but she could have done NYT, WSJ, Wapo, or even wires like the AP, Reuters, or a place like Bloomberg. Just an interesting strategic choice either way.’ 

In other parts of the interview Harris also responded to reports that she won’t use bluetooth headphones, dismissing them as ‘ridiculous,’ and brushed off queries over whether she learned any lessons in her first year in the White House.

One GOP operative commented on the multiple Harris staffers who announced their departure within days of each other

One GOP operative commented on the multiple Harris staffers who announced their departure within days of each other

A Politico reporter commented on Harris' choice to do a wide-ranging in-depth interview with her hometown paper

A Politico reporter commented on Harris’ choice to do a wide-ranging in-depth interview with her hometown paper

The San Francisco Chronicle published the vice president’s comments on Sunday from an interview last week as Harris continues to face mounting criticism and dismal approval rating numbers.

Surrounding these reports was a more bizarre report claiming that Harris didn’t use bluetooth pods because she felt they were a security risk.

Harris likened that to being as ridiculous as saying she was going to buy marijuana on her way to the airport.

‘Oh, how about, ‘She’s going to buy a pot on her way to the airport,’ Harris told the Chronicle.

She bashed the report from coming out ‘after a very significant and highly successful bilateral meeting in France on issues that are about national security, on issues that are about climate, on issues that are about what we are doing in terms of international norms and rules on everything from cyber to space.’

‘Come on,’ she lamented.

Vice President Kamala Harris bashed reports claiming she thinks Bluetooth earphones are not secure as 'ridiculous'

Vice President Kamala Harris bashed reports claiming she thinks Bluetooth earphones are not secure as ‘ridiculous’

Former aides, according to the report, said Harris insists on continuing to use wired earphones because she fears that Bluetooth ones represent a security risk and could allow someone to intercept her communications. 

In her interview with the Chronicle, Harris brushed off several criticisms of her performance as vice president and reports of a feud between herself and the president. She also did not address her failures in the role so far, like the southern border crisis.

‘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,’ she added.

Harris twice wouldn’t directly answer a question whether she wished she’d done anything differently in her year so far as Biden’s No. 2.

‘I love people, and there’s so much that we are doing that is directly impacting and with the people in mind,’ Harris said. 

She said her goal for year two of the administration is to travel more around the U.S. to push Biden’s policies after ‘two years of COVID.’

‘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 says she wants to help people with ‘undiagnosed trauma’ and ‘anxiety’ related to the pandemic.

At a time when many users have moved on to the near invisible buds and pods connected through Bluetooth, Harris is frequently to be seen conducting remote television interviews with a cable dangling from her ears.

In a viral video clip showing the moment she spoke to Joe Biden by phone after they secured their 2020 election win, she has a tangle of white wires in her left hand.

The former aides told Politico that the vice president has long been careful about security and technology.

In a much shared clip of her congratulatory phone call with Joe Biden after their 2020 election victory was confirmed she can be seen with the tell-tale white wires in her hand

In a much shared clip of her congratulatory phone call with Joe Biden after their 2020 election victory was confirmed she can be seen with the tell-tale white wires in her hand

Harris can often be seen carrying a jumble of wires with her phone as reports emerged the vice president prefers using wired earphones because she believes they are more secure than wireless Bluetooth connections

Harris can often be seen carrying a jumble of wires with her phone as reports emerged the vice president prefers using wired earphones because she believes they are more secure than wireless Bluetooth connections

From Bluesnarfing to Bluebugging: How Bluetooth technology can be hijacked by criminal hackers

Bluetooth technology transmits data wirelessly between portable devices over short distances.

While that can be handy for users, it also offers criminals an extra point of attack to intercept communications.

Types of attack include: Bluejacking – sending unsolicited messages; Bluesnarfing – hacking phones set to ‘discoverable’; and Bluebugging – compromising a phone so that it calls the hacker who can listen in to conversations.

While Bluetooth on phones has a range of about 30ft, laptops can have a range of 300ft, making them harder to secure.

This year the National Security Agency warned users that turning on Bluetooth in a public setting may present a cybersecurity risk.

It recommended that users ensure the device is not left in discovery mode when Bluetooth is activated and discovery is not needed.

Some said it was a prudent measure for someone handling classified information while others told the outlet it verged on the paranoid. 

As well as using wired headphones to avoid Bluetooth, she also apparently prefers texting to email and does not allow her guests to wait in her office alone. 

And a former aide said staff were told to have her visitors wait for her outside her office during her time as attorney general in California.

A request for comment on why the vice president prefers wired earphones went unanswered.

But Harris is not alone in the retro look.

Celebrities including Bella Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp and Zoë Kravitz have been spotted with corded earphones. 

Fashion writers say the ubiquity of buds has led some trendsetters to look for something more distinctive.  

When Liana Satenstein, a fashion writer at Vogue.com, saw Hadid with a wired headset in 2019 she described it as ‘strangely luxurious.’

Cybersecurity experts say there may be something in the vice president’s approach.

Although security has improved since Bluetooth was developed in the 1990s it still add an extra potential point of attack. 

‘If Kamala Harris is using wired earbuds, then the communications going between her phone and her ears can’t be intercepted there,’ cybersecurity researcher and writer Kim Crawley told The Guardian. 

‘I would presume that Ms Harris is privy to a lot of top secret and classified information and that top secret and classified information could be going through her phone, so no I don’t think that’s overly paranoid.’

Other presidents have chafed at security restrictions on their phone use.

I am not allowed, for security reasons, to have an iPhone,’ said President Barack in 2013 during a White House event.

Instead he was allowed only to use a Blackberry device, limited to communicating with 10 people.

But even that took a fight.

He was the first president in history to use email and he had to convince the National Security Agency to allow him to keep a mobile device in office. 



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