KEY POINTS

  • Former employees Harris refused to read briefings but berated her staff if she was unprepared
  • One ex-employee said Harris had been repeating her "destructive patterns" from years ago
  • Harris is currently being eyed as a potential Democratic presidential nominee, says a report

A staffer who previously worked for Kamala Harris before she won the vice-presidential seat has described her as a “bully” and “destructive” person to work with and said that aides in her office had to endure “soul-destroying criticism,” according to a report. 

Some of Harris’ former employees said that she would refuse to read through briefing materials prepared by her staff members, but blame them if she appeared unprepared, The Washington Post reported.

"It's clear that you're not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work," one former staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity told the daily. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.” 

Gil Duran, who worked with Harris when she was California’s attorney general in 2013, also slammed the latter’s work ethics, adding that she had people pretend they were leaving her office for positive reasons. 

Duran, who now works as the editorial-page editor for The San Francisco Examiner, added that he was “sad” to see Harris repeating “destructive patterns.”

“Such tales of chaos have a familiar ring to longtime Harris watchers in California. As a former Harris staffer who quit after five months in 2013, I’m not surprised. Still, it’s sad to see her repeat the same old destructive patterns under the harsh gaze of the Washington press corps,” Duran wrote in a column published last week.

Speaking with The Post, some Harris allies said the criticism was a result of her being the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to be elected vice president in the U.S. She is also being eyed as a potential Democratic presidential nominee, according to the report. 

Sean Clegg, a partner at the political consultancy Bearstar Strategies that has advised many California politicians, said that Harris can be a “tough boss” to work for. However, he noted that she had never been abusive towards him.

"I've never had an experience in my long history with Kamala where I felt like she was unfair,” he told the publication, adding: “If she were a man with her management style, she would have a TV show called ‘The Apprentice.'”

US Vice President Kamala Harris will briefly hold power while President Joe Biden is under anesthetic US Vice President Kamala Harris will briefly hold power while President Joe Biden is under anesthetic Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski