April 27, 2022
There’s apparently major tension between President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House that has not settled down.
New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns detail in their upcoming book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future” a slew of tense moments and exchanges between Harris and Biden.
In one instance, the book alleges that Biden left Republican senators stunned during legislative negotiations last year when he strongly shut down Harris in front of everyone.
In a meeting last May, Biden and Harris met with senators to discuss passing a $1 trillion infrastructure bill through Congress when Harris reportedly “thought that there was something missing from the conversation.”
The book alleges that Harris “began to make the case for a larger package than the one Republicans seemed to have in mind,” which included adding more Democratic goodies.
“Biden dismissed her comment immediately,” the authors explain, adding, “that even the Republican senators were taken aback” by his harsh tone.
In another meeting, the NYT authors quote Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who recounted a meeting between Biden, Harris, and a handful of governors.
Hogan recalled Harris’s role in meetings as “very strange,” saying she sat quietly and it was noticeable.
“Harris did not say a word,” Hogan said, adding that he didn’t know if Harris was “just being deferential to the president — didn’t want to step on him” or there was something else going on.
“Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved,” Martin and Burns wrote in excerpts.
“Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious,” the authors add of Harris who has yet to improve her dismal approval ratings.
In another section, the authors detail how First Lady Jill Biden apparently did not want Harris to be her husband’s pick for vice president and he had reservations of his own.
“There are millions of people in the United States. Why do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe,” Jill Biden said in a conversation after she discovered that Harris was in the lead for the job.
In another example of the Biden-Harris feud in the West Wing, the book claims Biden threatened to dismiss any staffers for Harris if they were discovered spreading negative stories about her leadership and personality.
Biden reportedly made the threat amid a flurry of news stories documenting rising frustration and dissatisfaction with the VP among the ranks of her staff, many of whom have already quit in the year she’s been in office.
Biden was angry following negative reports last June claiming dissatisfaction among Harris’ staff.
In response, Biden brought in senior staff to the Oval Office and told them that if “he found that any of them was stirring up negative stories about the vice president…they would quickly be former staff,” according to an excerpt of the book reported by Politico.
Many of the reports contained specific complaints from unnamed staffers.
In early December, the Washington Post published a lengthy report and quoted several current and former staffers who were frustrated with her.
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” a former staffer said. “With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
Here are some other headlines from the book: