Desite President Biden vowing to fire anyone for disrespectful behavior, deputy White House spokesman TJ Ducklo has only been suspended without pay and made to apologize to a reporter he had threatened.
Ducklo, President Joe Biden’s deputy press secretary, has been accused of threatening Politico reporter Tara Palmeri for working on a story regarding his relationship with Axios journalist Alexi McCammond.
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The White House’s decision to keep Ducklo violate a pledge made by Biden to terminate members of his administration who conduct themselves disrespectfully towards others. In a video conference last month, Biden told staff that his administration will lead with “core American values” and “humility and trust.”
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RT reports: Ducklo’s suspension was announced on Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said he apologized and sent a personal note expressing “profound regret” over the “heated conversation” about his personal life.
He has been suspended without pay for a week and will “no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico” once he returns, Psaki added.
Earlier in the day, Vanity Fair reported that Ducklo had made “derogatory and misogynistic” comments to Politico’s Tara Palmeri, apparently trying to quash a story about his romantic involvement with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.
Palmeri had called McCammond, and a male colleague of hers had left a message to Ducklo, on Inauguration Day. Ducklo then called Palmeri and threatened to ruin her reputation if she published the story.
“I will destroy you,” he said, according to Vanity Fair’s sources. He also reportedly accused Palmeri of reporting on the relationship because she was “jealous” of McCammond.
Politico’s editors called the White House the following day and Ducklo’s conduct was discussed by Psaki, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, and senior adviser Anita Dunn, among others – but no action was taken until after Vanity Fair published the story.
McCammond and Ducklo had been friends for a while but became openly romantically involved after the 2020 election, at least according to a friendly profile in People published on Monday. Politico finally reported on their relationship the day after.
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