Vice President Kamala Harris’ new communications director issued an apology on Friday following backlash over a tweet he posted in 2010 asking why two illegal immigrants appearing on cable news had not been deported.
Jamal Simmons, who was chosen to lead the vice president’s communications team on Thursday, tweeted in 2010: “Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC. One law student the other a protester. Can someone explain why ICE is not picking them up?”
Simmons shared a statement with Politico reporter Alex Thompson expressing remorse for the tweet.
“As a pundit for much of my career I have tweeted a lot and spoken out on public issues,” Simmons said. “Sometimes I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark. I sincerely apologize for offending those who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy it can be.”
In response to these old tweets, Simmons says in a statement:
“Sometimes I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark. I sincerely apologize for offending those who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy it can be” pic.twitter.com/ndpPpAy1xS
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) January 7, 2022
“I know the role I am taking on is to represent the Biden-Harris administration, and I will do so with humility, sincerity and respect,” he added.
Simmons joins Harris’s team following a significant amount of turnover in the office, which reports have attributed to burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a “Harris person.”
Top officials on President Biden’s team reportedly roll their eyes at Harris’ team in private and want to see smoother, more effective leadership, Axios reported last month.
“If we mess this up, it’s going to set women back when it comes to running for higher office for years to come,” one Democratic operative close to Harris’s office told Axios.
Simmons replaces Ashley Etienne, who tendered her resignation in November to pursue “other opportunities,” CNN reported.