Symone Sanders-Townsend Says She Got the Best Advice from Kamala Harris After Announcing She was Leaving as Her Chief Spokesperson

by Xara Aziz

MSNBC host Symone Sanders-Townsend says her departure from the Biden administration came as a surprise to many, but her then-boss, Vice President Kamala Harris, gave her full support.

“She is so encouraging,” Sanders-Townsend said on The Sherri Shephard Show Thursday. “Seriously she is about her business, okay. She wants the work to get done and there is a time for laughs and a time for work so she is very serious about the work and that is something I take with me now to the job I do.”

Sanders-Townsend served as Harris’ senior advisor and chief spokesperson before she left for a gig on MSNBC. Right before she departed, she said the Vice President gave her great advice.

“She said, ‘You can do anything you want to do, don’t let anybody tell you no. You’ve worked for the things you want. If you want a show, go get a show,'” Sanders-Townsend said.

She continued: “I sat down with Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC, a Black woman, who said, ‘What kind of show would you like to have?'” Sanders-Townsend told Shepherd. “It’s because of Rashida who valued my voice that I have the opportunity to do the news every Saturday and Sunday.”

She says now that she has left the Administration, she still has great respect and admiration for Harris and President Joe Biden, adding that her experience there was one she will never forget.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I was the senior adviser in his campaign and when he selected then-Senator Harris as his running mate, I also got the opportunity to travel with her, so I got to know her very well.”

She further added that she was honored when she was approached to take on the role because she understood the importance of being in that position.

“I was very honored when she asked me during the transition to come on as her spokesperson because you know, like she is the first woman, Black vice president of the United States of America in the world,” she said. “The world views her through the prism of the media. It was absolutely amazing.”

She confesses that there were hurdles along the way, but “it was an amazing experience.”

“I got to drive up to The White House every day,” she said. “I went through the gate, okay? It was truly amazing. It was the honor of a lifetime. I always wanted to work at The White House and working for the vice president was truly, like every day it was my first professional experience going into a room where the person in charge was someone who looked like me.”

Sanders-Townsend left her post at the White House in 2021. At the time, she wrote a note to staff stating, “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. I’m grateful for [Harris’ chief of staff] Tina [Flournoy] and her leadership and her confidence as well.”

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