Kamala Harris Aide Tries to Cut Interview Short When VP Asked 'Who's the Real President?'

Vice President Kamala Harris defended President Joe Biden during a tense interview with Charlamagne tha God on Friday, reiterating that President Biden is in charge of the country, not Democrat rebel Joe Manchin.

During her appearance on Charlamagne's Comedy Central show, Tha God's Honest Truth, an aide—likely the departing Symone Sanders—interrupted and tried to bring the interview to an end, when the Veep was asked who the "real president" was.

Charlamagne pressed Harris about Senator Joe Manchin, for West Virginia, and asked if he was a "problem" for the administration, though Harris would not be drawn on the question about the key Democrat in the Senate.

"We need you to be the superhero that saves democracy," Charlamagne told Harris.

"Somebody has to push back on Joe Manchin," he went on.

Manchin has become a highly influential figure in the evenly divided Senate and there are concerns that his opposition to aspects of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act could prevent the legislation passing. His vote will be essential in passing the final bill.

"That guy is stopping progress. He's ruining democracy. Are you willing to be that superhero? 'Cause what scares me is if the voting rights don't pass, the Build Back Better doesn't pass, or police reform doesn't pass, I doubt you're gonna get Black people to go out there and vote in 2022 and 2024. And, you know, Trump will be president again. What's the plan for all of that?" Charlamagne asked.

Harris did not directly address the question about Manchin, instead discussing voting rights legislation including the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, but Charlamagne asked again.

"Who is the superhero that is gonna speak against Joe Manchin?" he asked.

At that point in the interview, a woman's voice could be heard off-camera. Charlamagne asked: "I want to know who the real president of this country is? Is it Joe Biden or Joe Manchin?"

Apologizing for interrupting, the woman then said: "It's Symone. I'm so sorry Charlamagne. We have to wrap."

Though she wasn't visible, the woman in question was most likely Symone Sanders, Harris' chief spokesperson and senior adviser, who is leaving her post at the end of the year.

After some crosstalk where Charlamagne said "They're acting like they can't hear me," and Harris said she could hear him, the interview continued.

"So who's the real president of this country? Is it Joe Manchin or Joe Biden?" he asked.

"Come on, Charlamagne. Come on. It's Joe Biden," Harris replied.

"I can't tell sometimes," Charlamagne said.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It's Joe Biden, and don't start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he's president. And it's..." the vice president said.

"Do you think Joe Manchin is a problem?" Charlamagne asked.

"And it's Joe Biden," Harris said. "And I'm vice president and my name is Kamala Harris, and the reality is, because we are in office we do the things like the child tax credit which is gonna reduce Black child poverty by 50 percent – on track to do that."

Harris then listed a number of issues the administration has been addressing, such as police body cameras, getting lead out of pipes and lowering prescription drug prices.

"I hear the frustration," the vice president said. "But let's not deny the impact that we've had, and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done. And it is not easy to do, but we will not give up. And I will not give up."

"I just want you to know, that Madame Vice President, that Kamala Harris, that's the one I like," Charlamagne replied. "That's the one that was putting the pressure on people in Senate hearings. That's the one I'd like to see more often out here in these streets."

Vice President Kamala Harris Delivers Remarks
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks at the Prince George’s County Brandywine Maintenance Facility on December 13, 2021 in Brandywine, Maryland. Harris would not be drawn on whether Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was a problem for the Biden administration during a Friday interview. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images