Symone Sanders ‘hurt’ at being passed over for press secretary: report
Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Vice President Harris, was reportedly “hurt” after being passed over for the White House press secretary job, according to a wide-ranging Washington Post feature on Sanders and her fiancé, D.C.’s director of culture and nightlife Shawn Townsend.
Bakari Sellers, a civil rights attorney and mutual friend of the couple, said Sanders was “stung” after Biden ultimately chose former Obama communications director Jen Psaki for the press secretary job.
Sanders worked for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in 2016 before becoming an adviser on President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Townsend echoed Sellers’s sentiment, telling the Post, “She was definitely hopeful that she would have that opportunity.”
Sellers said Sanders “spent a lot of capital” as senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign, frequently being asked to defend the candidate when the campaign “had a problem with the Black community.”
Notably, Sanders defended Biden after he told radio host Charlamagne tha God that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
The remark was widely criticized. Nevertheless, Sanders took to Twitter to defend her candidate.
Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community. He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November. 1/
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
“These moments were not few and far between,” Sellers told the Post. “They would send Symone out to take those bullets. … And then to be passed over, that hurt.”
Sanders made it known, both privately and in her recently published memoir, that she was interested in the press secretary post and becoming the first Black woman to hold the job, the Post noted.
Last week, Psaki made headlines when she said she plans to step down from her role as press secretary next year.
“I think it’s going to be time for somebody else to have this job, in a year from now or about a year from now,” she told David Axelrod on his CNN podcast “The Axe Files.”
After Psaki’s disclosure, Sanders told the Post that she was “happy where I am and with what I’m doing,” adding, “And it’s keeping me very very busy!”
Townsend said Sanders was “incredibly grateful” when she received a call from Harris to join her team at the White House, adding that she was “in tears.”
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