President Joe Biden’s deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo has been suspended for a week without pay after allegedly threatening to “destroy” a female reporter who was asking questions about his private life.
The White House spokesman reportedly threatened Politico reporter Tara Palmeri, who was investigating his relationship with another journalist.
On February 12, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that TJ Ducklo had apologized to Tara Palmeri.
TJ Ducklo has not commented independently.
Some observers have criticized President Biden for failing to take stronger action. He has previously said he would fire “on the spot” any staff speaking disrespectfully to colleagues.
The suspension of TJ Ducklo came after Vanity Fair magazine reported on his alleged threats to Tara Palmeri.
The Politico reporter had been investigating TJ Ducklo’s relationship with Alexi McCammond, a journalist with Axios who had covered Joe Biden’s election campaign.
He allegedly rang her and said: “I will destroy you.”
TJ Ducklo also made other derogatory and misogynistic comments, Vanity Fair reports.
Jen Psaki tweeted on February 12 that TJ Ducklo was “the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President”.
The White House spokeswoman said that as well as being suspended without pay for a week, TJ Ducklo would no longer work with Politico reporters when he returned to the White House.
President Biden told his staff on his first day in office that he would not tolerate bullying behavior.
He said: “I’m not joking when I say this: If you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I will fire you on the spot. No ifs, ands or buts.”