Harris pushes back against reports of West Wing tensions

Politics
Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the Tribal Nations Summit in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday she doesn’t feel underused, pushing back against media reports of White House tensions between her office and the president’s.

“I’m very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished,” Harris said in an interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “But I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do, and we’re gonna get it done.”

President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with addressing migration at the southern U.S. border, voting rights, COVID-19 vaccinations and other issues. Last week, she was in France, part of a U.S. effort to mend relations with America’s oldest ally over a secretly negotiated U.S.-British submarine deal with Australia.

Some media reports have suggested tensions in the West Wing over Harris’ job performance and suggested she feels sidelined. Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos if she feels “misused or underused,” Harris said, “No, I don’t.”

The White House has also denied tensions. “The president selected the vice president to serve as his running mate because he felt she was exactly the person you wanted to have by his side to govern the country,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “She is a key partner. She’s a bold leader. And she is somebody who has taken on incredibly important assignments.”

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