No, I’m not kidding you.
In 2016, the year that Vice President Kamala Harris won her Senate seat, her niece (to whom she has always been very close), social media “influencer” Meena Harris, launched a successful lifestyle business which 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 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. 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 current White House official who watched the interview spoke to Bierman on the condition of anonymity. This individual 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, the official said, “told Meena that she could no longer produce clothing or write new books with her aunt’s name or likeness.”
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 with a Ukrainian energy company or enormous investments in his hedge funds by the Chinese if he had not been the Vice President’s son, 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 unscrupulous do to gain influence with a U.S. 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.
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 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 on 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 personna that propelled this business.
Even if the company, now five 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 Biden’s brothers Frank and James) is that Meena is completely upfront about her business. And she actually runs a legitimate business.
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, 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 Vice President’s name and image 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.