Biden aide suspended after threat to 'destroy' reporter

Biden aide suspended after threat to 'destroy' reporter”

White House Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo has resigned after his controversial harassment of a Politico reporter came to light.

"TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life", Psaki said in a statement posted in a series of tweets.

According to Vanity Fair, the confrontation started on January 20, during the inauguration of President Biden.

On Friday, Vanity Fair published a report citing two unnamed sources that Ducklo threatened the Politico reporter to try to suppress the story, telling her "I will destroy you".

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Ducklo's boss, was confronted by reporters about the scandal at a press briefing on Friday. "He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President". She added that when he returns from suspension he will no longer work with any reporters at Politico.

Psaki told reporters that she had made the decision to punish Ducklo - with the approval of White House chief of staff Ron Klain - and that she had not discussed it with Biden.

In fact McCammond continued to report on Biden and his running-mate Kamala Harris for Axios after beginning her relationship with Ducklo in November - a clear conflict of interest.

Biden has sought to change the White House's relationship with the news media, which was testy, at best, under President Donald Trump.

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"I'm not joking when I say this: if you are ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I will fire you on the spot". Politico editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski and editor Carrie Budoff Brown said in a statement they had "raised our concerns about the incident directly with the White House at the time".

"There were conversations that occurred with the reporter, as well as editors at Politico immediately after the conversation occurred", Psaki said.

"Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity", Mr Biden said. "No ifs, ands, or buts", the president warned.

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".

It was not clear why Ducklo had only been suspended on Friday when the Vanity Fair story published, given that Psaki and the White House had been aware of Ducklo's conduct in the weeks before. "And that included not just an apology directly from him, and apologies directly from us at the highest levels there, but also a step to suspend him for one week without pay".

At the start of the Biden administration, Psaki told reporters she had a "deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy". Please take a minute to sign up to our mailing list so we can stay in touch with you, our community.

Psaki said Ducklo has sent the reporter "a personal note professing his profound regret".

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