Vice President Kamala Harris departed Washington, D.C. for a brief and mysterious visit to Palm Springs, California in what appears to be a private capacity, with no explanation from the White House for the secretive trip.
Harris flew to Palm Springs from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Friday afternoon and is scheduled to return to D.C. on Saturday according to the White House.
Reporters were not permitted to watch the Vice President’s departure and there are no public events on her schedule.
“The vice president will remain overnight in Palm Springs and return to Washington, D.C., on Saturday,” the White House said in a statement that served as the only official communication regarding the trip, according to The Washington Times.
— Christy Gilbert Holstege (@christyholstege) October 1, 2021
The Mayor of Palm Springs, Christy Gilbert Holstege tweeted a welcome to Harris, but it did not offer any further insight on the reason for Harris’ trip.
The Vice President arrived at Palm Springs International Airport just after 7 p.m. on Friday and was escorted by city police around 7:30 p.m. off of Ramon Road, according to local news outlet, The Desert Sun. Less than a dozen drivers were stopped to allow the vice president’s motorcade by.
Harris, the administration’s appointed border czar, will face certain criticism for her elusive trip as the crisis on the nation’s southern border worsens by the day. She made several trips to her home state of California, sometimes for multiple weekends in a row over the summer, but made just one single trip to El Paso, Texas back in June.
Harris also traveled to California in September to campaign for Governor Gavin Newsom in the state’s recall election that he ultimately won.
Second gentleman Doug Emhoff has two campaign events on his public schedule Saturday in Virginia for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Harris faced backlash earlier this week during a visit to George Mason University in northern Virginia to mark National Voter Registration Day when she praised a student who accused the Jewish state of “ethnic genocide”.
The student, who identified herself as “part-Yemeni, part-Iranian”, claimed that “a lot of taxpayer money is allocated for funding the military, whether it’s in backing Saudi Arabia or in Palestine.”
“You brought up how the power of the people and demonstrations and organizing is very valuable in America, but I see that over the summer, there have been, like, protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers standing with Palestine, but then just a few days ago there were funds allocated to continue backing Israel, which hurts my heart because it’s an ethnic genocide and a displacement of people — the same that happened in America — and I’m sure you’re aware of this,” the student told Harris.
“Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard,” the Vice President responded.
Israeli media outlets, the Democratic Majority for Israel and other groups combatting antisemitism publicly and privately denounced Harris’ comments, according to the New York Post.
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