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White House suspends aide for ‘threatening reporter’

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Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2021. 11:40 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Joe Biden’s White House has suspended one of its spokespersons for a week without pay after he allegedly threatened by telephone to “destroy” a female reporter investigating his relationship with another journalist, the BBC reports.

T.J. Ducklo, 32, deputy to press secretary Jen Psaki, allegedly called Politico reporter Tara Palmeri and said, “I will destroy you,” among other derogatory and misogynistic comments, Vanity Fair magazine reports. He has since apologized.

President Biden told his staff on taking office that he would not tolerate bullying behaviour to colleagues, saying it would result in the offender being “fired on the spot.” Journalists such as CNN’s Jake Tapper say this should also apply to journalists working with the White House.

Politico reporter Palmeri had been investigating Ducklo’s relationship with Alexi McCammond, a journalist with Axios who had covered President Biden’s election campaign.

The President’s spokeswoman tweeted on Friday that Ducklo was “the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President”.

She said that as well as being suspended without pay for a week, Ducklo would no longer work with Politico reporters when he returned to the White House.

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