Politics

WH Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo Suspended For Reportedly Threatening, Demeaning Female Reporter

White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo was given a one week suspension for allegedly threatening and demeaning a female reporter. This has led to accusations that Joe Biden lied weeks ago when he promised to fire people in his administration on the spot for offenses like this.

Ducklo reportedly went off on Politico reporter Tara Palmeri, making “derogatory and misogynistic” comments towards her after she asked about his romantic relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Sources told Vanity Fair that in an off-the-record call on January 20, Ducklo threatened to “destroy” Palmeri and claimed that she only asked him about McCammond because she was jealous that an unidentified man in the past had wanted to “f—” McCammond and not Palmeri.

Though White House officials suspended Ducklo, they also criticized Palmeri for breaking an off-the-record agreement with him.

“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President,” tweeted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “In addition to his initial apology, he has sent the reporter a personal note expressing his profound regret.”

“With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay,” she added. “In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”

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This comes a month after Biden said that he would fire any of his appointees, “no ifs, ands,” or buts,” if he learned that they had disrespected their colleagues in any way. The fact that Ducklo has not been fired has led many to say that Biden broke his pledge.

And we have a new definition of slap on the wrist,” Nevada-based journalist Jon Ralston tweeted. “If what he said was reported accurately — and it is a secondary but interesting question about how an OTR convo got reported and when OTR can be breached — Ducklo should have been fired. What he said was repellent and sexist.”

Others feel the same way:

Despite her relationship with Ducklo, McCammond was reassigned to cover Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden himself has yet to comment on the situation.

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