White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., November 12, 2021.    (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed criticism of Vice President Kamala Harris stemmed from sexism and racism, during an appearance on Politico‘s “Women Rule” podcast on Wednesday.

“I do think that it has been easier and harsher from some in the right wing who have gone after her because she is the first woman, the first woman of color,” Psaki said. “I’m not suggesting anyone will acknowledge that publicly.”

Psaki added that Harris “wants to be seen as the talented, experienced, you know, expert, substantive policy person, partner to the president, that she is. But I do think there have been some attacks that are beyond because of her identity.”

Psaki’s comments follow publication of a CNN article on Sunday reporting that West Wing aides view the vice president’s office as dysfunctional, while Politico also reported on Harris’s difficulties in office.

For anyone who needs to hear it. [Harris] is not only a vital partner to [President Biden] but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” Psaki wrote on Twitter on Sunday night.

Harris’s office was also reported to be dysfunctional in July, with 22 current and former vice presidential aides and other administration officials telling Politico that the vice president’s office was a “tense” environment.

Harris’s approval rating stood at a record-low 28 percent in a USA Today/Suffolk poll released earlier this month.

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