TJ Ducklo has been placed on leave after he reportedly insulted and threatened a reporter working on a story about his romantic relationship.
Upon entering office, President Joe Biden made it clear that he wouldn’t hesitate to fire anyone that was disrespectful to others, and while Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo wasn’t given the ax, he was placed on suspension. According to reports, Politico writer Tara Palmeri was allegedly working on a story about Ducklo and his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond. There were concerns over the ethics involved with their romance, but Vanity Fair would publish a story of their own, claiming that Ducklo told Palmeri that he would “destroy” her, accused her of being “jealous,” and “made derogatory and misogynistic comments” toward Palmeri.
On Friday (February 12), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that Ducklo was suspended. While Psaki didn’t speak to the truth of the allegations, she did confirm that the communications director for the White House did reach out to Palmeri to apologize for Ducklo’s behavior.
“No journalist at Politico — or any other publication or network — should ever be subjected to such unfounded personal attacks while doing their job,” Politico said in a statement. “Politico reporters and editors are committed to forging a professional and transparent relationship with public office holders and their staff and expect the same in return.”
Ducklo was suspended for one week without pay.