Biden Press Aide Suspended Over Threat

Biden Spokeswoman Jen Psaki Worsens Row Over Colleague's Slap on Wrist for Threatening Reporter                REUTERS  CARLOS BARRIA

White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo has resigned, the day after he was suspended for issuing a sexist and profane threat to a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with another reporter. The magazine reported Ducklo referenced Palmeri's own personal life, accusing her at one point of being "jealous" about his relationship with McCammond. Ducklo on the arrangement, he lashed out at one of their female reporters, making "derogatory and misogynistic comments", threatening to "destroy" her and ruin her reputation if she published details of the relationship, according to Vanity Fair.

"Ducklo, whose duties include fielding queries from reporters on COVID-19, health care and politics, had apologized to Palmeri "quite shortly after the comments were made" and again in writing", Psaki said.

Ducklo added that he was "devastated to have embarrassed and disappointed my White House colleagues and President Biden".

The White House officials apparently acknowledged that Ducklo's comments were inappropriate and warranted an apology but also accused Palmeri of breaking an off-the-record agreement with him by revealing the contents of their phone call.

"I will destroy you", Ducklo allegedly told Tara Palmeri, who was reporting on a story that included the fact that Ducklo is dating Alexi McCammond, a political reporter working for Axios.

Psaki said Ducklo will go without pay for the one week suspension, and that he reached out to Palmeri to apologize.

Psaki said that in addition to his initial apology, Ducklo had expressed "profound regret" in a note to Palmeri after the incident, which Psaki described only as a "heated conversation about his personal life".

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Even after Twitter said the tweets and accounts were reinstated, the company said the government's legal demand was valid. The legal demand from the Indian government put Twitter, which has employees based in the country, in a hard position.

The White House responded to the ordeal only after it had made headlines.

Psaki, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and Anita Dunn, director of West Wing operations, were all reportedly involved in conversations with Politico editors about the incident. "And that, in our view, was an important step to send the message that we don't find it acceptable".

Politico reporters were outraged at Psaki's response to the situation, two staffers at the outlet told CNN.

"No journalist at Politico - or any other publication or network - should ever be subjected to such unfounded personal attacks while doing their job", they said. So, those were the steps that were taken, and we felt it was a serious punishment.

A day after being sworn in as president, Biden warned his White House staff against mistreating others.

He's the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President, nor is it the standard of behavior set by me, and I'm his direct supervisor. "No if, ands, or buts".

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