Vice President Kamala Harris’ staff continues to cause her office stress amid reports of the difficulty created by infighting and confusion. On Saturday, new uncomfortable information surfaced as it was reported that Harris’s new communications director Jamal Simmons sent a $250 campaign contribution to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in 2015 in support of his primary run to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016.
Paul was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He was part of the 2016 primary contests until he dropped out in February 2016 after a disappointing finish in the Iowa GOP primary contest. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2016 when Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and the presidency.
Other than Paul, records indicate that Simmons has donated only to Democrat politicians. He contributed to Kamala Harris during her run for Senate from California in 2016.
Simmons was recently hired after Harris’s previous communications director left last month. Simmons came on board as several other Harris staffers left their positions.
Simmons has also been forced to defend a tweet 12 years ago that recently came to public attention. The tweet described “2 undocumented folks” Simmons said he saw on MSNBC. He asked if anyone could “explain why ICE is not picking them up.” He attempted to explain his tweet by saying he was not calling on them to be picked up but was instead surprised that ICE would not detain them after they appeared on television.
He said he wished to “sincerely apologize” for offending those who want to make America a tremendous multi-ethnic and diverse democracy.
In 2019, Simmons produced a media segment about Joe Biden called “Dazed and Confused.” He said at the time that is “what you get with Uncle Joe.”
In 2020, Simmons cast public doubt on Operation Warp Speed and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines produced during the Trump Administration. He said that the same vaccines that the administration has been desperately pushing since Biden took office were based on “janky science” when President Trump was in office.
Simmons served as deputy communications director for the 2000 Al Gore presidential campaign. He has also worked as an aide to former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark.