On Wednesday, Sanders confirmed her resignation in a statement to her colleagues by expressing her gratitude to Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff.
“I’m so grateful to the VP for her vote of confidence from the very beginning and the opportunity to see what can be unburdened by what has been,” her statement read. “I’m grateful for Tina and her leadership and her confidence as well. Every day, I arrived at the White House complex knowing our work made a tangible difference for Americans. I am immensely grateful and will miss working for her and with all of you.”
A source close to the situation also acknowledged Sander’s exit from the Biden administration.
“Symone has served honorably for three years,” the source said. “The President and vice president are grateful for Symone’s service and advocacy for this White House. She is a valued member, a team player, and she will be missed. We are grateful to have her working through the end of the year.”
Another source stated that Sanders’ departure has been in the works for quite some time with Harris being fully aware of the process.
Anita Dunn, a former top Biden aide, described Sanders as “an extraordinary talent” in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
“Symone has been working at the highest levels and in an extraordinarily intense environment for three years for Joe Biden. And now also for Vice President Harris,” Dunn said. “When you look at the three years, two on the campaign, one in the White House, nobody can question her decision that she needs a break and it’s time to move on. And she’ll always be a member of the Biden-Harris family.”
Sanders, a noted political strategist, became a senior advisor of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Formerly, she served as national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and was a political analyst for CNN.
In her 2020 memoir No, You Shut Up, she made clear her political aspirations saying, “One day, I want to be White House press secretary.”
According to her close friend and political analyst Bakari Sellers, Sanders was “stung” when Jen Psaki was named White House press secretary and that being passed over “hurt.”
Over the next few months, there will be more changes to Harris’ staff.
“Offices reconstitute themselves,” Dunn said. “Symone is not the last person who will leave the White House.”