White House communications chief of staff Emma Riley announced Friday she is leaving the West Wing for a job at the Department of Labor next month, the second departure in the administration of President Joe Biden in a week.
“It was an honor and privilege to serve @POTUS and the American people at the @WhiteHouse,” Riley tweeted Friday afternoon. “I’m excited to be moving down Pennsylvania Ave. and traveling around the country with @SecMartyWalsh and @USDOL.”
Riley’s departure is the second in a week, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ communications director Ashley Etienne announcing Thursday she is leaving her job.
“Ashley is a valued member of the vice president’s team, who has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of this administration,” a White House official told Fox News in a report. “She is leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities.”
Etienne served as communications director twice and adviser for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as well as serving in former President Barack Obama’s White House.
The departures come as Biden’s poll numbers sink to their lowest of his presidency, with a new Quinnipiac University National Survey finding just 36% approve of the job he is doing as president, the organization reported Thursday.
Of those surveyed, 46% “strongly disapprove” of Biden’s performance, compared to only 21% “strongly approving,” according to the poll.
Respondents to the poll also want to see the GOP take control of the House and Senate in 2022, with 48% preferring Republicans compared to 38% favoring Democrats, and 16% saying they are not sure.
“An ominous double whammy for the Democrats with midterms less than a year out,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said. “The Senate and the House will be up for grabs and voters want the GOP to win the jump ball.”
According to the organization, 1,378 U.S. adults nationwide were surveyed from Nov. 11-15 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
The moves also follow a CNN report regarding dysfunction in the White House as tension continues between Biden’s office and Harris’ staff.
“Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined,” CNN reported. “The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden’s team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president.”
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