White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to say whether President Biden would support Vice President Kamala Harris in a future presidential run after recent reports suggesting a worsening relationship between the President and Vice President.
“There are a few reports from over the weekend that the Vice President is unhappy,” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked. “Can she expect the President’s automatic endorsement if she decides to run herself in either 2024 or 2028?”
“Well, first of all, 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’s 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.”
“So that is who the President selected,” Psaki continued. “I don’t have any predictions of whether she will run when she will run; I will leave that to her. But I can tell you that there’s been a lot of reports out there, and they don’t reflect his view or our experience with the Vice President.”
“And so you guys have not heard that the Vice President or key members of her staff are unhappy?” Doocy asked.
“Here’s what I know, Peter: I know that the President relies on the Vice President for her advice, for her counsel,” Psaki said. “She’s somebody who is not only taking on issues that are challenging. She’s not looking for a cushy role here — no Vice President is, no President is — and that she’s somebody that is a valuable member of the team.”
Over the weekend, CNN released a detailed report based on interviews with numerous Harris aides about how Harris has grown bitter as Biden appears to be distancing himself from the vice president as she has become the most unpopular vice president in modern history.
For example, Harris aides claimed that Harris does not receive the same support from Biden as others, pointing out how the White House defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as he was criticized for abandoning his job amid a supply chain crisis to secretly take paternity leave with his husband after the adoption of his twins in September.
Harris loyalists told CNN that it was “yet another example of an unfair standard at play, wondering why she didn’t get similar cover any of the times she’s been attacked by the right.”
They even went as far as suggesting Biden was racist for supporting Buttigieg, with one aide saying, “It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a White man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves.”
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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap
President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.
According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.
In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were “wrongfully detained.” He said the American’s would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.
“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.
Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.
The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.
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