KAMALA Harris’ niece has been told to “stop trying to build her brand and profit off her aunt” by White House lawyers, reports say.
Meena Harris, 36, is a social media influencer and its claimed she has used her aunt’s fame to boost her own personal brand but now that Kamala has taken up her position as Vice President, White House aides are concerned about the implications.
A White House official, speaking to the Los Angeles Times, on the condition of anonymity, said: “Some things can’t be undone.
"That being said: Behavior needs to change," the official said of the niece Harris, whose ventures have reportedly become a sensitive issue under the Biden administration.
Meena Harris was previously a lawyer who became an entrepreneur and now has more than 800,000 Instagram followers.
She is also the author of children’s books, one which has the title Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, and is the founder of a women’s charitable clothing brand called Phenomenal.
Her most recent book, Ambitious Girl, was published the night before her aunt was sworn in as Vice President.
Meena has also made various media appearances, including on The View and the Today show and has been profiled by Vanity Fair and The New York Times.
The White House official is said to have told the LA Times that following the election, White House lawyers had told Meena she could no longer produce any products that used Kamala’s name or likeness.
According to the report, Meena was told the book bearing her aunt’s first name, as well as the Phenomenal sweatshirt with the slogan “Vice President Aunty” were not allowed under the existing ethics rules.
But after her briefing on the regulations by federal lawyers Meena is said to have flown on a private plane to the inauguration with a Biden donor and shared the trip on her Instagram page, The LA Times reported.
Her online store is also selling sweatshirts printed with the quote “I’m speaking” – words used by Kamala during a debate with the then Vice President Mike Pence.
Meena defended her actions in a statement provided via a PR firm to the LA Times.
"Since the beginning of the campaign, I have insisted on upholding all legal and ethical standards and will continue to strictly adhere to the ethics rules of the Biden/Harris White House," she reportedly said.
"With regards to Phenomenal, it was always our plan to remove the likeness of the Vice President from the website before the Inauguration, and refrain from using her likeness in any products or campaigns going forward."
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