The communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris resigned on Thursday. Ashley Etienne’s resignation comes after growing criticism of Harris, as well as speculations that the Biden and Harris camps are at odds.
Etienne was a longtime top adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). She served as communications director twice for Pelosi, and also worked in the Obama White House. Harris and Biden’s poll numbers have plummeted, and Harris has been criticized greatly for her lack of involvement, particularly as it relates to border security.
Biden placed Harris in charge of assessing where migrants come from, and she has given little to no reprieve except for by saying more trees should be planted in the home countries of the migrants.
Ashley’s resignation will take effect next month, and a White House official told Fox News “Ashley is a valued member of the Vice President’s team, who has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of this administration…She is leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities.”
The White House has struggled in recent days in the wake of a recent scathing CNN report that outlined frustration and dysfunction in Harris’ office. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked the vice president if she feels “misused or underused” by the Biden administration. She laughed in response.
“No, I don’t,” the vice president said.
The CNN piece touched a nerve in the White House, with press secretary Jen Psaki tweeting out a defense of the vice president that appeared to be in direct response to the article. Harris’ approval rating was a dismal 28% in one recent survey, a historically bad number for a vice president.
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Robert De Niro anti-Trump speech mysteriously replaced in teleprompter at Awards Show
Actor Robert De Niro got a taste of Hollywood’s own medicine when he was reportedly unable to deliver his planned Trump-bashing speech at an awards show. The “Killers of the Flower Moon” actor spoke at Monday’s Gotham Awards, but says when he took the stage he discovered that his anti-Trump remarks had been altered.
The actor said he had not been informed of the changes, which took out any mention of the former president. De Niro, who was on hand to present “Killers of the Flower Moon” with the Gotham Historical Icon and Creator Tribute, criticized the awards show and Apple. “I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did,” he said. “How dare they do that, actually.”
According to sources with knowledge of the show, a revised version of the speech was placed into the teleprompter less than ten minutes before the event started. Reportedly the speech was altered at the behest of Apple, the film’s producer.
The source says the company was responding to feedback from the filmmaking team that wanted the actor’s remarks to be centered on the movie. However, a source close to the film denied that there was any censorship involved and said that the incident was a miscommunication.
There had been multiple versions of De Niro’s speech and there was a desire to focus solely on the moviemakers and their artistry, according to the source. Apple and the filmmakers were unaware that De Niro hadn’t signed off on the final draft, the source maintained.
De Niro did however take the opportunity to criticize Trump regardless of the prompter; the actor read his remarks from his phone. “Lying has become just another tool in the charlatan’s arsenal,” De Niro said. “The former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years in office. And he’s keeping up the pace in his current campaign of retribution. But with all his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature and shows disrespect, for example, by using ‘Pocahontas’ as a slur” he stated.
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