No, I’m not kidding you.
In 2016, the year that Vice President Kamala Harris won her Senate seat, her niece, Meena Harris (to whom she has always been very close), launched a successful lifestyle business that sells political T-shirts and sweatshirts. As one would expect, her brand, “Phenomenal Woman,” has prospered along with the political fortunes of her aunt.
There’s no question that, as a “social media influencer” Meena Harris has profited off of her aunt’s fame.
Shortly before the inauguration, the younger Harris was interviewed on the “Today” show by Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush.
The L.A. Times’ Noah Bierman describes the spectacle: “Meena discussed the historic nature of the moment, along with a pitch for her latest children’s book, “Ambitious Girl,’ released on the eve of the inauguration. She wore a pink sweatshirt emblazoned with the word ‘Ambitious’ in large type, plugging a popular item in her Phenomenal brand clothing line.”
“All this as pictures of Meena and Kamala Harris flashed across the screen.” [Emphasis added.]
“The television appearance,” wrote Bierman, “like others in recent months, demonstrated the degree to which the 36-year-old social media influencer has meshed her personal brand with her aunt’s ascendant political career.”
None of this is illegal. Nor is anyone trying to hide it. But at least some parts of the Biden White House know it doesn’t look good.
A White House official who watched the interview spoke to Bierman on the condition of anonymity. This individual, Bierman wrote, is well aware that “Meena, who was an unpaid campaign representative, would not have been given the prominent platform — or appearances on ‘The View’ and spreads in glossy magazines — if she weren’t the vice president’s niece. She has used that publicity to promote her lifestyle brand, which has over time capitalized on Kamala Harris’ name, likeness, life history and political slogans to produce clothing, videos, bestselling children’s books and designer headphones.”
The official told Bierman, “Some things can’t be undone. That being said: Behavior needs to change.”
Ethics lawyers for the Biden/Harris transition team”told Meena that she could no longer produce clothing or write new books with her aunt’s name or likeness,” Bierman wrote, citing an apparently different White House official.
The briefing hasn’t seemed to slow her down.
According to Bierman, “Meena flew to the inauguration on a private plane with a Biden donor and posted about the trip on Instagram, which was first reported by Politico. She launched a production company that produced a video with a political group to celebrate her aunt. And she collaborated on special-edition Beats by Dre headphones that used a slogan popularized by Kamala Harris — ‘The first but not the last’ — and that were sent to celebrities.”
“In addition, Phenomenal’s online store continues to sell a sweatshirt that reads, ‘I’m speaking,’ a Kamala Harris quote that went viral after she said it while debating then-Vice President Mike Pence.”
Just as Hunter Biden wouldn’t have been offered a lucrative board position for a Ukraine energy company or enormous investments in his hedge funds by the Chinese if it weren’t for his father, it’s unlikely Meena would be enjoying anywhere near her current success, if not for her aunt.
While some may have promoted or done business with Meena to win favor with then-Sen. Harris, how much more would the unscupulous be willing to do to gain influence with a vice president? Especially when there is a fair chance that the feeble president under whom she serves may not be able to complete his full term.
Now that Harris is one heartbeat away from the presidency, her niece’s business has taken on greater significance, yet the mainstream media has paid scant attention to it — compared to the wall-to-wall coverage any business affair related to the Trump family received during the previous presidential administration.
The same media outlets that were alert to any hint of possible impropriety when it came to the family of President Donald Trump (even when there was none) are curiously quiet when it comes to the same kind of questions during the Biden-Harris administration.
Bierman wrote that he contacted Meena for a comment on this story. Instead of an interview, however, he received the following statement from the lawyer and Harvard Law graduate via a public relations firm:
“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. 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.”
Speaking to a reporter from The New York Times Style section for an interview published Jan. 9, Meena said, “I’m my own person with my own views and my own platform and my own aspirations.”
Yes, but she is capitalizing on her aunt’s fame and political fortune. Phenomenal Woman is based on Kamala Harris. It is her persona that propelled this business.
Even if the company, now 5 years old, stops using Kamala’s likeness from this point forward, she can never truly be separated from it.
The difference between Meena and Hunter (and President Joe Biden’s brothers, Frank and James) is that Meena has apparently been completely upfront about her business, which appears to be completely legitimate.
The Bidens try to hide their business affairs. Emails published in October by the New York Post, and suppressed by Big Tech, suggested that, contrary to his denials, now-President Joe Biden may have been aware of his son’s foreign business dealings and further, he may have personally benefitted from them.
So, as Biden’s lawyers advise Meena to stop using the name and image of her aunt the vice president to make money, they may want to deliver the identical message to the president’s son, his brothers, his son-in-law and other family members. It seems to me those deals pose a greater threat to U.S. national security.
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