White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged the question when she was asked earlier this week about claims that one of First Lady Jill Biden’s top aides is “abusive.”
A Politico report came out recently claiming that Biden’s aide Anthony Bernal has a “mean streak,” and that he often makes his colleagues cry while also controlling access to the First Lady. The report claimed that Bernal has a habit of “berating” people and that he trashes his “stupid” coworkers behind their backs.
“He has a constituency of one, and he’s very effective on her behalf,” one official was quoted as saying. “The problem is that no one who has worked with him trusts him, and that’s not good for him or her.”
When asked about this at her press briefing, Psaki replied, “You know, it’s hard to look into anonymously sourced reports. I’m not aware of that being the intention,” according to The New York Post.
New York Times reporter Katie Rogers is the reporter who asked Psaki about this, and she noted that “the report was based on anonymous sourcing.”
“You know I love anonymous sources,” Psaki joked in response.
“Right, but I’m wondering if, given this administration has its edict about treating people with kindness and respect — is this report, even though anonymously sourced, going to be looked into?” Rogers asked.
Psaki replied by saying that she’s had pleasant experiences working with Bernal.
“I’ve worked with him now over the last six months, even as a newbie into the Biden orbit, the individual named by anonymous source [sic],” she said. “He has been nothing but supportive and communicative and that’s been my experience.”
Julissa Reynoso, the First Lady’s chief of staff, also has publicly praised Bernal in response to this report.
“Anthony’s loyalty to our team and the First Family is unrivaled, and he holds himself, and all of us, to the highest standards,” Reynoso told Politico. “He cares deeply about the personal and professional growth of his colleagues.”
Patti Solis Doyle, a longtime Democratic operative who helped Bernal get his job with the Bidens, said that he is loyal to their entire family.
“Anthony is exceptional and extremely loyal to Dr. Biden and the entire Biden family,” Doyle said.