The White House is facing criticism for its handling of a threat of violence from within its own ranks.
Press officer TJ Ducklo is accused of threatening to “destroy” Politico reporter Jennifer Palmieri and to ruin her reputation because she reported on his relationship with an Axios reporter.
But the White House announced that Ducklo was only being suspended without pay for a week.
Critics point out that Biden had vowed to fire anyone anyone who treats a colleague with disrespect, the Gateway Pundit blog noted.
The controversy began Inauguration Day when Palmeri contacted the Axios reporter for comment on the relationship she had with Ducklo while she was covering the Biden administration, reported Vanity Fair.
Ducklo, who also was asked to comment, fired back, trying to intimidate Palmeri in an effort to kill the story, the report said.
Sources said Ducklo told her, “I will destroy you.” He added that he would ruin her reputation if she published the story.
Vanity Fair reported Ducklo charged that Palmeri was “jealous” because an unidentified man in the past had “wanted to f***” the Axios reporter but not Palmeri.
Biden previously had warned, “If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot.”
Biden swears in his political appointees and issues a warning:
“If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot.” pic.twitter.com/6ydnUXQf0d
— The Recount (@therecount) January 20, 2021
Ducklo, however, was given only a one-week suspension without pay.
Vanity Fair reported he apologized to Palmeri. But White House officials accused the Politico reporter of breaking an off-the-record agreement with Ducklo.
With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021
Ducklo also is not allowed to work with Politico reporters in the future.
Biden’s failure to keep his word was getting more attention than the story about the relationship.
And we have a new definition of slap on the wrist.
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. https://t.co/5zpEx9xYoq
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) February 12, 2021
Well it’s a good thing his boss did not boldly declare three weeks ago that anyone in the administration who disrespects or talks down to others would be fired on the spot https://t.co/TdDuCD7Yik
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 12, 2021
So Ducklo is banned from working with any reporters at Politico, because of his misogynistic insults aimed at a Politico reporter, but he can still work with reporters at Axios, where his girlfriend is employed as a reporter covering the VP. https://t.co/2rFf9j5Tbk
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 12, 2021
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 12, 2021
Axios announced the reporter, Alexi McCammond, was being taken off the White House beat and assigned to cover Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office. But Fox News reported, Axios “eventually said she had taken a ‘backseat’ on coverage, suggesting she would still play a role despite her conflict of interest.”
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