By Jasmine Wright and Rachel Janfaza, CNN
Vice President Kamala Harris hired Lorraine Voles and Adam Frankel to help with her office’s communication capacity, according to a White House official.
“Their experience has been and will continue to be a valuable resource for our entire team as we set long-term planning and deliver on the administration’s ambitious political agenda,” said the White House official. told CNN.
The two, who each worked for Harris during the presidential transition, will focus their efforts on “organizational development, strategic communications and long-term planning.”
The Washington Post was first to report on hiring.
Voles, a seasoned communications strategist and former Clinton and Gore employee, will serve on a temporary basis on a three to six month contract, a source close to Harris’s office told CNN. Frankel is also temporary, according to the White House official.
The hires come after a turbulent summer for the VP, in which she has drawn criticism after several messaging errors and personnel issues. Republicans grabbed every apparent misstep, relentlessly targeting Harris as part of a long term strategy weaken a potential future Democratic presidential candidate.
On his first overseas trip to office in June, Harris fumbled for a politically sensitive issue during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt about why she had yet to visit the US-Mexico border as vice president.
At the time, several allies and former aides to the vice president described having “flashbacks” of the misstep as part of a larger pattern of messaging challenges that has plagued her since her unsuccessful presidential campaign.
The interview with Holt came after Harris participated in an extensive media training session to improve his delivery and presentation in interviews and speeches. This training was one of many sessions last year, according to several sources. An assistant said at the time that the session was not in response to or in preparation for an interview or a particular topic.
In July, the White House dove into damage control after reports of dysfunction and infighting in the vice president’s office, the administration trying to prevent a dramatic narrative from taking hold, according to five people who spoke to CNN about the dynamics in Harris’s office.
In response to past criticism of his messages and staff, the White House has reaffirmed that Harris is still focused on his work, which included paying close attention to right to vote and immigration, in particular by addressing the root causes of migration from Central America.
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