Several Longtime Kamala Harris Associates Shut Out as VP’s Chief of Staff Keeps Tight Control Over Access – NBC10 Philadelphia

  • Kamala Harris’ chief of employees has successfully shut out a number of longtime political and enterprise world allies of the vp, in keeping with folks conversant in the matter.
  • As Tina Flournoy exerts her energy as a gatekeeper to the vp, a number of of Harris’ allies exterior the federal authorities are struggling to get their calls returned.
  • Some of these similar advisors and donors are attempting different routes, together with by making an attempt to talk with Douglas Emhoff, the vp’s husband.

Kamala Harris’ chief of employees has successfully shut out a number of longtime of the vp’s political and enterprise world allies as the Biden administration contends with a number of challenges, together with battles over voting rights and the border, in keeping with folks conversant in the matter.

Harris has not been returning telephone calls to individuals who have thought-about themselves members of her internal circle, together with donors and individuals who supported her Senate and White House runs, in keeping with some of the folks with data of the state of affairs. 

Under chief of employees Tina Flournoy’s watch, Harris speaks usually to President Joe Biden, her members of the family, a good group of pals, and her strategists, these folks mentioned. The folks declined to be named as a result of sensitivity of the matter.

Yet as Flournoy, who constructed a troublesome popularity whereas working for former President Bill Clinton, exerts her energy as a gatekeeper to the vp, a number of of Harris’ allies exterior the federal authorities are struggling to get their calls returned after years of usually being in contact along with her, some of these folks mentioned.

An individual conversant in Flournoy’s dealing with of incoming communication with these associates says she typically begins a dialog asking, “What is it that you really want from the vp?” If the particular person desires to only say whats up and have a quick dialog, Flournoy says that point will come at future personal occasions.

If an individual desires to talk to Harris about the place she stands on coverage, Flournoy will, at instances, say they can not communicate to the vp about coverage and can make an introduction to at least one of her coverage advisors.

Some of these similar advisors and donors are attempting different routes, together with by making an attempt to talk with Douglas Emhoff, the vp’s husband. Many of these calls have but to be returned, these folks mentioned.

Chiefs of employees, particularly these within the highest echelons of authorities, are anticipated to run a good ship for his or her bosses, together with by limiting who will get within the door for conferences or who reaches them on the telephone. In the vp’s world, some allies can get in – however they guard their standing so that they do not run afoul of Flournoy. 

For occasion, an influential Democratic donor who raised cash for Harris’ failed bid for president not too long ago tried to succeed in out to the vp, and had but to obtain a name again. Then this particular person determined to contact Flournoy. 

That did not work. The donor reached out to a fellow Democratic financier for Flournoy’s contact data. But the guy financier declined to share Flournoy’s e mail tackle for worry of dropping entry themselves.

Another Harris supporter mentioned she hasn’t heard from the vp since a name with supporters in the course of the transition interval.

While Flournoy has made it more durable to get in contact with Harris, some of the vp’s supporters settle for it as a consequence of Harris constructing out her portfolio. Harris not too long ago made her first visit as vp to the U.S.-Mexico border, she touted President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid invoice, and is predicted to have a role engaged on prison justice reform, amongst different objects.

One particular person near Harris mentioned they appreciated what Flournoy is doing and has accepted that it is merely going to be more durable to get in contact with Harris now that she is vp and begins engaged on big-ticket initiatives.

“There’s no query she [Flournoy] is a powerful chief of employees and there isn’t any query that she could be very targeted on ensuring that the VP is ready to be specializing in the coronavirus pandemic and getting folks vaccinated, the border, voting rights,” mentioned one other Harris ally who has spoken to Flournoy. 

“So by ensuring that she is ready to give attention to what she’s being charged with, there could possibly be people who find themselves not essentially getting entry as a result of the chief of employees is prioritizing these duties for the VP over political outreach,” this particular person defined.

A spokeswoman for Harris didn’t return a request for remark.

Susan Walsh | AP

In this May 31, 2008 file photograph, Tina Flournoy, then Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws committee member, throughout a listening to in Washington.

Flournoy’s background

Flournoy has deep roots in Washington, D.C., and is a veteran of the mainstream Democratic institution.

In the latter half of the Nineteen Eighties, she labored as a regulation clerk for Julia Cooper Mack,  a choose on the D.C. Court of Appeals, earlier than leaping into politics, in keeping with the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

CRP additionally says she later had stints as a counsel for the Democratic National Convention, as a pacesetter on Clinton’s transition workforce after he was elected in 1992, after which as counsel for the previous president’s workplace of presidential personnel.

Flournoy is listed as normal counsel for cigarette maker Phillip Morris in a 1995 White House press advisory naming Kennedy Center advisory committee members. Later, she served as touring chief of employees for Sen. Joe Lieberman in the course of the 2000 presidential marketing campaign, when he was Al Gore’s working mate.

After engaged on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 marketing campaign for president, she grew to become assistant to the president for public coverage on the American Federation of Teachers, an influential union. Flournoy was initially linked to Harris by Minyon Moore, who was an assistant to Clinton when he was president. Moore, who did not return a request for remark, was as soon as named as one of the 100 strongest ladies in Washington.

Before she grew to become Harris’ chief of employees, Flournoy led the employees working for former President Bill Clinton beginning in 2013. At that submit, Flournoy oversaw a employees of roughly 10 individuals who labored immediately with Clinton, and had common engagement with the Clinton Foundation, in keeping with folks with direct data of the matter.

While Flournoy was chief of employees, Clinton held an notorious tarmac meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch whereas his spouse ran for president within the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton’s use of a non-public e mail server was being investigated on the time by the FBI, which is a component of the Justice Department.

Flournoy’s type working for Harris is acquainted to individuals who knew her whereas she labored for Clinton. She took over managing entry to Clinton after the departure of his longtime right-hand man, Doug Band. Band, who co-founded company consulting agency Teneo, is thought for serving to create Clinton’s post-presidential life, together with helping in launching the inspiration and the Clinton Global Initiative.

According to a report by Vanity Fair, Clinton and Band interacted with some controversial celebrities and executives, together with the late Jeffrey Epstein, who later died by suicide in jail after being arrested for youngster intercourse trafficking.

“If you have a look at Doug’s tenure, it ranges from Epstein to others,” an individual with direct data of Flournoy’s work advised CNBC.

“If you look from 2013 via a few yr a half in the past when Tina was right here, you’ll be able to’t level to any single one of them being right here [Clinton’s orbit]. I name some of these individuals who had been as soon as round ‘the unsavory people,'” this particular person added.

Clinton praised the hiring of Flournoy in a tweet after Harris made the official announcement. A spokesman for Clinton didn’t return a request for remark.

Band didn’t remark.

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