TJ Ducklo: White House suspends aide for 'threatening reporter'

TJ Ducklo: White House suspends aide for 'threatening reporter'

Some observers have criticised President Joe Biden for failing to take stronger action.

Politico Playbook, the Washington politics tips and gossip newsletter that Palmeri reports for, wrote this week that McCammond made it public in November that she was dating Ducklo.

"This in our view was an important step to send the message that we don't find this acceptable", White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday. The ask, he has been placed as you noted, on a one week suspension without pay.

"If you're 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", Biden told new aides during a swearing-in ceremony on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.

White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo allegedly threatened to "destroy" a Politico reporter for investigating his relationship with a political journalist, according to an explosive report from Vanity Fair.

Palmeri, a co-writer of Politico's popular Playbook blog, began to pursue the story on January 20, Inauguration Day, and contacted McCammond for comment, according to an account in Vanity Fair.

"I will destroy you", Ducklo allegedly told Palmeri in an off-the-record call that also took place on January 20, according to a Vanity Fair report published Friday.

When asked at the press briefing how Ducklo could continue to work with female reporters, given the misogynistic nature of some of his comments, Psaki agreed they were "completely unacceptable" and said that she has had "conversations with him about that".

On her first day behind the podium, Ms 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".

Psaki said in a statement earlier Friday that Ducklo had been suspended without pay with the approval of White House chief of staff Ron Klain. "No if, ands, or buts".

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

President Biden's spokeswoman tweeted on Friday that TJ Ducklo was "the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President".

Confronted with those comments from the president, Psaki reiterated that Ducklo's conduct "doesn't meet our standards, it doesn't meet the president's standard, and it was important that we took a step to make that clear".

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.

White House officials reportedly "acknowledged that Ducklo's handling of the call with Palmeri was inappropriate and said he would send a note to her apologizing for the comments".

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