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Kamala Harris’ chief of staff heads for the exit



CNN

Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, is leaving her post this spring, a White House official told CNN on Thursday.

Flournoy is expected to be replaced by Lorraine Voles, the veteran Democratic communications strategist who joined Harris’ office as an adviser last summer. Voles would focus his efforts on “organizational development, strategic communications and long-term planning,” an official told CNN at the time.

In an email to staff obtained by CNN, Flournoy said she was “eternally grateful to the vice president for giving me this incredible opportunity” and thanked the staff.

“I had intended to speak to you all individually to let you know that I will soon be stepping down from the office of Vice President and my role as Chief of Staff, she wrote, noting that the news of her departure could be announced before she can do so. do it.

“I will, however, talk to you in the next few days. I will say then – in much more poetic language, no doubt – that it has been an honor to work for the Vice President and a great joy to get to know Kamala Harris and to see first hand the great passion that she brings to her job.

The Washington Post first reported the news of Flournoy’s exit.

Flournoy is the latest in a long string of departures from the vice president’s office, which has been rocked repeatedly in recent months. Flournoy’s deputy, Michael Fuchs, announced earlier this month that he would be leaving the administration. The White House recently confirmed that national security adviser Nancy McEldowney will be stepping down to be replaced by her deputy Phil Gordon. And Harris’ communications team has had a facelift in recent months, after its communications repertoire Ashley Etienne, chief spokeswoman and senior adviser Symone Sanders and deputy public secretary Sabrina Singh all left the office. a few months apart.

Flournoy, who joined the team early in the operation, led the office through a tough summer for the vice president, during which sHarrishe drew criticism after several messaging missteps and staffing issues. Republicans seized on every apparent misstep, relentlessly targeting the vice president.

One of Flournoy’s toughest moments came after a myriad of dysfunctional reports topped the message from the office, many of which centered on the chief of staff’s leadership — and by extension Harris’s leadership. Voles was hired amid those summer reports.

In a statement Thursday, Harris congratulated his outgoing staffer.

“Tina has been a valued advisor and confidante to me, as well as a tremendous leader for the office. From day one, she led our team through a historic first year as we moved forward in rebuilding our economy here at home and our alliances around the world, Harris wrote. “Tina is an accomplished public servant and I will continue to rely on her guidance, counsel and friendship.”

And White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, whom Flournoy knew before joining the White House, praised her as “an essential member of the White House team from day one, working with the President and the Vice President to make their partnership effective and assist the administration”. achieve critical priorities.

“His experience, wisdom and hard work were instrumental in our success on many issues,” Klain said.

This year, aides saw the first few months of Harris’ sophomore year as particularly successful for the vice president — she recently navigated major foreign policy moments avoiding divisiveness, including high-profile trips to Germany and the United States. Poland in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. , who helped cement his place among President Joe Biden’s high-ranking envoys on a continent embroiled in conflict.

This story has been updated with additional reports.