The Slatest

Kamala Harris Did Not Appreciate Getting Asked Whether Biden or Manchin is “Real President”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an infrastructure announcement at AFL-CIO December 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an infrastructure announcement at AFL-CIO December 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris did not hide her frustration when Charlamagne tha God asked her whether Joe Biden or Sen. Joe Manchin is the president of the United States. “So, who is the real president of this country, is it Joe Manchin or Joe Biden?” Charlamagne asked Harris on Comedy Central’s Tha God’s Honest Truth. “C’mon Charlamagne. C’mon, it’s Joe Biden,” Harris said to the late-night talk show host. “I can’t tell sometimes,” Charlamagne chimed in before Harris cut him off as the interview evidently took a tense turn. “No, no, no, no. It’s Joe Biden. It’s Joe Biden. And don’t start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he’s president, it’s Joe Biden and I’m vice president. My name is Kamala Harris,” she said.

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Harris went on to list several of the accomplishments of the Biden administration. “The reality is, because we are in office, we do the things like the child tax credit, which is going to reduce Black child poverty by 50 percent,” Harris said before going on to list other issues the White House has been working on, including getting lead out of pipes and lowering prescription drug prices. “Ok, so I hear the frustration, but let’s not deny the impact that we’ve had,” Harris added.

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Right before that exchange a Harris aide, likely her chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, appeared to try to cut off the interview right when she was asked who the “real president” was. “We need you to be the superhero that saves democracy,” Charlamagne said to Harris, adding that “somebody has to push back on Joe Manchin.” Although some on social media are posting the exchange to make it seem as if the Harris aide didn’t want the vice president to answer the question, the truth is she had been trying to wrap up the interview for several minutes.

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Charlamagne had previously asked a question on student loans and when he did, the aide said it was going to be “the last question” (at the 15:30 mark in the video below). But the conversation continued with Charlamagne saying Manchin “is stopping progress” and “ruining democracy.” Harris didn’t directly mention Manchin so Charlamagne pressed: “Who is the superhero that is gonna speak against Joe Manchin?” he asked. The voice off camera once again came on to apparently try to end the interview. “I want to know who the real president of this country is? Is it Joe Biden or Joe Manchin?” Charlamagne insisted. Before Harris could answer, the voice was heard more clearly: “It’s Symone, I’m so sorry Charlamagne. We have to wrap.” After a bit of crosstalk, Harris went on to answer the question.

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