White House Official Finally Says Something After Audience Gives Kamala Harris Awkward Reception: 'You Can Clap!'


There was an awkward moment filled with mostly silence when Vice President Kamala Harris entered the room to meet with students visiting the White House Thursday from historically black colleges.

White House aide and former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms built up Harris’ arrival, saying, “We have a very special guest, as you all know. I know you have been waiting on this special guest, our vice president.”

The aide listed some of the vice president’s resume, noting she had been a district attorney, attorney general of California, U.S. senator, and hinted at the “historic firsts” Harris achieved as being the nation’s first female and African American to hold her current office.

Bottoms also pointed out that Harris is a Howard University alum, which is an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) institution.

Conservative House Republicans Threaten to Sink Biden, McCarthy Deal: 'We're Going to Try'

“Will you all please stand as she enters the room,” Bottoms announced.

The students, who are all studying journalism, stood and many of them lifted their phones to record Harris as she walked in.

Do you think Kamala Harris would make a good president?

Bottoms encouraged the students, “You can clap. It’s OK.”

Perhaps one or two of the dozens of students clapped.

Perhaps they were trying to be respectful of the venue and Harris’ position by not welcoming her enthusiastically, or maybe they were taking a more neutral stance as journalists in training. Many simply did not have both hands free to clap, since they were recording the moment on their phones.

Conservative commentator Benny Johnson tweeted that the muted reception Harris received when she entered the room was “Just so humiliating.”

'Do Your F***ing Job': 'Varsity Blues' Star Absolutely Dismantles the DNC in Memorial Day Video

Fox News host Sean Hannity noted even after Bottoms’ prompting the students, “They still didn’t clap.”

Fox Business Network host Dagen McDowell told Hannity, “She wasn’t really that upset about the students clapping for her. She walked in there feeling saucy and sassy and vivacious and alive — because she’s not Pete Buttigieg.”

Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, received significant criticism for waiting nearly three weeks to visit the derailment site of a train carrying toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.

Fox News personality Jimmy Failla suggested the students “didn’t clap because it was one in the afternoon, and they didn’t want to wake up [President Joe] Biden.”

Hannity also noted Harris’ meeting with HBCU students “got worse with yet another rant about Venn diagrams.”

The vice president participated in a 25-minute or so Q&A session with the students that included her incorporating her oft-expressed love of Venn diagrams.

“Always ask, ‘Is there a Venn diagram for this?’ … It’s fascinating when you do,” Harris exhorted.

She then argued that there is an intersectionality to extreme climate, public health, education and equity that causes people of color to be more impacted due to where they often live.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith