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Social media takes Jen Psaki to task after she defends VP Kamala Harris following damning CNN report

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Much of social media tore into White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday evening after she scrambled to defend Vice President Kamala Harris amid a damning report that suggested Harris and her White House allies are blaming President Joe Biden and his administration for not letting her lead.

What are the details?

Psaki tweeted Sunday, "For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country — from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband."

What do we know about this report?

A Sunday report from CNN's Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jasmine Wright painted a dire situation in the White House, insisting that a "complex reality" and extensive dysfunction inside the White House are pitting Harris and her aides against Biden and the rest of his administration.

In the report, Dovere and Wright allege that "nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors, and outside advisers" spoke out on what they described as deteriorating conditions in the White House.

"Many in the vice president's circle fume that she's not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined," Dovere and Wright reported. "The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she's able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden's team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president."

Despite what many insiders say should be a dynamic vice presidency, many are reportedly saying that Harris' staff has continually dropped the ball and left her looking vulnerable to the American public when she ought to be a strong, central figure as the first black female president.

"With many sources speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation more frankly, they all tell roughly the same story: Harris' staff has repeatedly failed her and left her exposed, and family members have often had an informal say within her office," the report accused. "Even some who have been asked for advice lament Harris' overly cautious tendencies and staff problems, which have been a feature of every office she's held, from San Francisco district attorney to U.S. Senate."

Dovere and Wright also pointed to ongoing tension between Harris and White House aides despite her amiable relationship with Biden.

"Though Harris has told confidants that she has been enjoying a good working dynamic directly with Biden, those who work for them describe their relationship in terms of settling into an exhausted stalemate," sources told the outlet. "After Harris became known in the first few months for often standing by Biden's side in the frame as he made big speeches, even after she'd introduced him herself, the West Wing appears to have overcorrected so she has been with the president noticeably less."

One insider said, "Kamala Harris is a leader but is not being put in positions to lead. That doesn't make sense. We need to be thinking long-term, and we need to be doing what's best for the party. You should be putting her in positions to succeed, as opposed to putting weights on her. If you did give her the ability to step up and help her lead, it would strengthen you and strengthen the party."

Those within Harris' circle also speculate that the president is simply standing in her way.

"Some think it's the president himself leaving her out in the cold, prioritizing his own agenda," Dovere and Wright alleged. "Some blame specific West Wing aides whom they feel sure are out to undercut her. Some fear the vice president is, as she has often done in her political life, leaning heavily on her sister Maya Harris, brother-in-law Tony West, and niece Meena Harris, whom they sense exerting influence over everything from staff hires to political decisions."

In a statement to the outlet, Harris' spokesperson Symone Sanders said, "It is unfortunate that after a productive trip to France in which we reaffirmed our relationship with America's oldest ally and demonstrated U.S. leadership on the world stage, and following passage of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and strengthen our communities, some in the media are focused on gossip — not on the results that the president and the vice president have delivered."

What did people say in response to Psaki's tweet?

According to a report from the Daily Wire, political strategist Arthur Schwartz said, "You know Kamala is in bad shape when she needs Biden and his piss poor approval ratings to vouch for her. And Biden wouldn't even do it himself — he sent out his flack who has been mercilessly trashing the VP to the press."

"This is such a Queen move," radio host Erick Erickson said. "You list the three things the Administration is failing out badly to claim Kamala is vital. Oof."

Newsweek reporter Josh Hammer added, "If you've gotta say it like this, then it's not true."

Political strategist Matt Whitlock chimed in, "WOW — the White House is so rattled by reporting on dysfunction between Biden and Harris they're putting out defensive statements. Love that Psaki is touting Kamala's leadership on 'root causes of immigration,' an effort that has become a punchline as the border collapsed."

Journalist Emily Miller wrote, "If Jen Psaki hadn't tweeted to defend VP, I would've missed this fascinating CNN story about the White House not caring enough about Harris to defend her."

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