Biden has warned he will fire aides who spread negative stories about Harris

  • Biden threatened to fire his aides if he found they leaked negative stories about Harris.
  • The warning was reported in a forthcoming book by two New York Times reporters.
  • Harris faced low public approval ratings during his vice presidency.

President Joe Biden has threatened to fire one of his top aides if he learns they were the source of a series of negative stories about Vice President Kamala Harris and her office, according to a book at appear.

The warning came last year after several news outlets published stories describing dysfunction in Harris’ office and tensions between his employees and Biden’s. The White House has defended Harris in public statements and dismissed the reports.

“No one was more frustrated with the leaks than Joe Biden. The president knew many of Harris’s flaws when he cast her as his running mate, but he was defensive towards her and angered by the unsightly drama that was pouring out in sight,” New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns wrote in “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.” Insider obtained an advance copy of the book ahead of its release on Tuesday.

Biden gathered his senior staff in the Oval Office and told them he would let them go if they leaked such stories about Harris, according to the book.

Harris’ vice president has not been smooth sailing. She faced low public approval ratings and a string of top advisers left her office.

According to the book, when White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain met with Rep. Kathy Manning, a North Carolina Democrat, last April, he was dismayed to learn that Manning had been barred from parts of the Harris’s recent trip to his district. . The White House often makes a point of including lawmakers in stops by top officials, and Biden often notes their presence from the podium.

“It makes me want to throw up,” Klain said, according to the authors, based on one person’s account of the reunion.

The White House did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. An official previously told Insider that the administration did not intend to engage in “confirmation or denial” regarding specific claims in the book.

“We respect that there will be no shortage of books written about the administration containing a wide variety of claims,” ​​Deputy Press Secretary Chris Meagher said in a statement. “We do not plan to engage in confirmations or denials with respect to the specifics of these claims.”

The book is full of examples of how Biden’s team allegedly mocked Harris’s team.

In one example, West Wing staff scoffed at the suggestion that the vice president would carve out an international portfolio by taking the helm of Nordic relations. The private derision went even further when it was suggested that Harris would deliver a high-profile foreign policy speech.

“Biden aides vetoed the idea,” the authors write. “Why should a vice president have his own independent view of world affairs? »

One of the biggest flashpoints came during a relatively insignificant light. Harris’ team was upset with the photo Vogue selected for its February 2021 issue.

A Biden adviser, according to the book, told Harris’ enraged aides and his then-chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, that there were bigger things to deal with before the inauguration, which would take place shortly. time after the uprising.

“Tina, the counselor said,” the authors write, “these are first-world problems.”

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