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Bailing out: Biden's communications chief resigns a day after Harris' comms director quits

Resignations follow administration's plummeting poll numbers and reports of the vice president's team being frustrated with alleged sidelining of Kamala Harris.

Published: November 21, 2021 3:41pm

Updated: November 21, 2021 4:38pm

White House communications chief Emma Riley, has resigned to join the Labor Department, following the announcement that Vice President Kamala Harris' communications director was quitting.

"It was an honor and privilege to serve POTUS and the American people at the White House," Riley tweeted on Friday. "I'm excited to be moving down Pennsylvania Ave and traveling around the country with [Secretary] Marty Walsh and [Department of Labor]."

Riley was an associate press secretary for Walsh when he was mayor of Boston, according to The Epoch Times.

Her announcement followed the resignation of Harris' communications director, Ashley Etienne, on Thursday.

In a statement to the press, a White House official said that Etienne had been a "valued member" and she is leaving her post in December to "pursue other opportunities."

Both resignations follow the significant drop in poll numbers for Biden and Harris, as a poll released on Nov. 7 by USA Today/Suffolk University placed the president's approval rating at 38% and the vice president's at 28%.

CNN reported that many on Harris' staff believe she is being "sidelined."

"Many in the vice president's circle fume that she's not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined," according to the media outlet.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to such reports in Monday's press briefing.

"The president selected the vice president because—to serve as his running mate—because he felt she was exactly the person he wanted to have by his side to govern the country," Psaki said.

"She is a key partner, she's a bold leader, and she is somebody who has taken on incredibly important assignments, whether it is addressing the root causes of migration at the Northern Triangle or taking on a core cause of democracy in voting rights," she added.

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