While stating that Kamala Harris and her family will uphold the highest ethical standards, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that according to the policy of the White House, the US Vice President's name should not be used in connection with any commercial activity.
This announcement from Sabrina Singh comes after the White House had earlier asked Meena Harris, niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, to stop "using her aunt to boost her brand," according to the Los Angeles Times.
After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won the US Presidential Elections of 2020, the transition team's ethics lawyers told Meena that she could no longer produce clothing or write new books with her aunt's name or likeness, said a White House official. The official further informed that the White House had said that Vice President Aunty sweatshirts, Harris-themed swimsuits and other products previously sold, were not allowed under this new rule.
Earlier, US local media had written "Meena's problem goes global" and had also accused her of wading into India's internal politics. This came after a series of tweets by Meena in regards to the ongoing farmers' protest in India helped provoke a response from the Indian government. Not only this, some supporters of India also said that Meena's opinions on the ongoing protest have added an unexpected wrinkle to India-US relations because US President Joe Biden is seeking to engage with the country's leader.
Reacting to such tweets posted by Harris' niece, the White House had described these tweets as an expression of views of a private citizen. One of many tweets said that what is happening in India is terrifying, Meena had written in one of her latest tweets on India as she retweeted a news story about the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi.
In recent weeks, there has been a sudden spurt in India-specific tweets by Meena. She has also come out in open in support of farmers protesting against the recently enacted agricultural laws and arrest of individuals related to it. According to PTI sources, the White House believes that her tweets are unlikely to have any impact on India-US relationship, to which the Biden administration gives top priority. After Kamala Harris became the Vice President of the United States of America, her niece has been in several news reports. Before the election, she had been panned for sharing a 'Navratri is Lit' post where her aunt's head was on a poster of Goddess Durga.
I’m choosing to stay because I support peaceful protest, and any government claiming to be democratic while silencing dissent should concern all of us. https://t.co/a0d6BTINhb— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 11, 2021
“This is not just India’s fight. In a world grappling with rising authoritarianism, propaganda, human rights abuses, and anti-democratic practices, quashing right-wing nationalism is in everyone’s best interest.” @simranhttps://t.co/Dq6xkgdZ2o pic.twitter.com/CdlxWEKSKJ— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 12, 2021
Weird to see a photo of yourself burned by an extremist mob but imagine what they would do if we lived in India. I'll tell you—23 yo labor rights activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested, tortured & sexually assaulted in police custody. She's been detained without bail for over 20 days. pic.twitter.com/Ypt2h1hWJz— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 5, 2021
Indian officials have arrested another young female activist, 21 yo Disha Ravi, because she posted a social media toolkit on how to support the farmers' protest. Read this thread about the sequence of events and ask why activists are being targeted and silenced by the government. https://t.co/ycUgDEqwdF— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 14, 2021