Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


White House aide resigns after threatening reporter

White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo listened as press secretary Jen Psaki spoke during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. Ducklo has been suspended for a week without pay after he reportedly issued a Biden Press Aide Suspended Over Threat
Kristine Garrett | 14 February, 2021, 03:47

Deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo on Saturday said he was resigning amid allegations that he made "derogatory and misogynistic" remarks to Politico reporter Tara Palmeri almost a month ago.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Ducklo's suspension on Friday, after the Vanity Fair piece was published, and called Ducklo's behavior "completely unacceptable".

During the White House daily press briefing, Psaki was confronted by a reporter who asked whether the minimal action taken against Ducklo directly contradicts what Biden pledged on January 20.

Palmeri wrote this week about possible conflicts of interest in covering the Biden administration for Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who's dating Ducklo.

Ducklo had been put on a weeklong suspension without pay on Friday after a report surfaced in Vanity Fair outlining his sexist threats against a female Politico journalist to try to suppress a story about his relationship, telling her "I will destroy you".

But the Biden White House sought to strike a more cordial and professional tone with the Washington press corps from the start, installing a cadre of seasoned Washington communicators led by Psaki.

Even pro-Democrat TV news network CNN's White House reporter Kaitlan Collins took Psaki to task over Ducklo's threatening and offensive language.

"I am not joking when I say this: If you are ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot", he said.

"Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity", Biden said.

In this February 9, 2021 photo, White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo listened as press secretary Jen Psaki spoke during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. "No ifs, ands, or buts".

On her first day behind the podium, Psaki told reporters, "I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy and for the role all of you play". "I'm not saying that is acceptable, but I just want to be clear that it was not about an issue related to the White House or a White House policy, or anything along those lines". She said the reporter was "right", but noted that the White House had believed it was "appropriate at the time" to engage privately with Politico "immediately after the conversation occurred".

Palmeri, meanwhile, had been assigned to cover the story as part of her job as a D.C. -based politics reporter and had never interacted with McCammond until she began work on the article.

A day after being sworn in as president, Biden warned his White House staff against mistreating others. So, those were the steps that were taken, and we felt it was a serious punishment.

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