WASHINGTON: The White House has suspended Deputy Press Secretary T.J. Ducklo for a week after he reportedly threatened a journalist from Politico who was writing about his personal relationship with a reporter.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a series of tweets on Friday that Ducklo had been suspended for seven days with the approval of the White House chief of staff and that Ducklo will no longer work with Politico upon his return. Psaki also said Ducklo had apologized to Politico reporter Tara Palmeri.
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’s suspension came the same day Vanity Fair reported that he threatened Palmeri and made misogynistic comments to her as she was reporting on his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond. People published a feature this month on the relationship between McCammond, who was reassigned to another beat, and Ducklo. The former national press secretary for President Joe Biden’s campaign was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in late 2019.
Vanity Fair’s revelation of the incident has prompted outrage from journalists, some of whom have cited President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day promise to fire any White House staffers who do not treat others with respect.
“If you’re 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. On the spot. No ifs, ands or buts,” Biden told appointees on his first day in office.
President Biden tells his appointees: "If you're 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. On the spot. No ifs, ands or buts." https://t.co/1LntlB7T7E pic.twitter.com/P2aUyzC6pJ— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2021