Kamala Harris’ incoming communications director donated to Republican Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign in 2015, Federal Election Commission filings reveal.
Jamal Simmons gave $250 in June 2015 to Paul’s ultimately unsuccessful primary run for president.
The Kentucky senator was first elected to his post in 2010 and launched his presidential campaign in 2015. He dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses in February 2016 and was reelected to the Senate that year.
The information about Simmons’ contribution comes after he already is off to a rocky start before even assuming his role in the vice president’s office.
Simmons was forced to apologize on Friday for a slew of previous tweets and comments that attacked Joe Biden, the COVID vaccine and spewed right-leaning immigration deportation views.
The two knocks also come amidst a PR nightmare for Harris after seven aides left her office in the months after her disastrous southern border trip in June and reports emerged of her ‘bully’ mentality and a toxic work environment.
With Simmons hiring, the vice president’s office is hoping to start anew.
In the 2015-2016 election season, Simmons also donated to several Democratic candidates and left-leaning entities.
He gave $500 to Harris’ run for Senate and another $500 combined donations to two separate Hillary Clinton-aligned groups to back the candidate in her run for president against Trump.
The new Harris aide, however, spent the first day after his hiring was revealed on cleanup duty.
Simmons made a name for himself as a Democratic political analyst and operative with stints going back to the Bill Clinton administration. News of his hiring brought to light some of his more controversial tweets and statements.
“As a pundit I tweeted + spoke A LOT,” he tweeted Friday in a quick effort to address his past comments.
“At times, I’ve been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark. I apologize for offending [people] who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy,” he wrote.
He added: ‘I’ll help the Biden-Harris admin w/humility, sincerity+respect.’
One previous tweet touched on the red hot issue of immigration, which Harris has faced criticism for in her role as ‘border czar’.
‘Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC. One Law student the other a protester. Can someone explain why ICE is not picking them up?’ he tweeted back in 2010 amid one of many heated debates over U.S. immigration policy.
President Biden has charged Harris with focusing on the root causes of immigration, forcing her to already contend with political headaches over border crossings.
Chiming in on the issue was former White House aide Stephen Miller, an architect of the Trump Administration’s controversial immigration policies.
‘I agree with [Jamal Simmons]. If you break into our nation there must be deportation,’ he wrote.
Years after the deportation tweet, Simmons ridiculed a ‘dazed and confused’ Joe Biden for conflating multiple stories while describing a trip to Afghanistan and criticized Donald Trump for pushing a ‘janky science vaccine’, it emerged on Friday.
Simmons has been brought on during an overhaul of the vice president’s office, with her approval rating at a dire 32 percent and with seven staffers quitting since her disastrous border trip on June 25.
The veteran Democratic aide and TV commentator mocked Biden in 2019 for the gaffe during an episode of his politics show for The Hill called ‘Why You Should Care.’
‘We do this story about once a week!’ he quipped. ‘It’s what you get with Uncle Joe.’
The segment began with a headline that said ‘Dazed and Confused,’ as he broke down the latest stumble by the former vice president, who had called himself a ‘gaffe machine.’
Simmons made the comments at a time when the Democratic nomination was wide open – and long before he would be brought on to try to right Harris’ struggling communications operation.
He told of how Biden at a town hall had ‘conflated’ multiple stories from a trip to Afghanistan. It turned out Biden got the timing wrong, the province wrong, along with key details – the story was about an Army soldier, not a Navy captain.
‘This is the God’s truth, he says. “My word as a Biden.” Turns out, it wasn’t God’s truth,’ Simmons says to the camera.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – By KATELYN CARALLE and GEOFF EARLE