Biden official quits after threatening to 'destroy' a Politico reporter

Biden Press Aide Suspended Over Threat

On Friday - almost a month after the phone call had taken place - White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki said Ducklo had been placed on a "one-week suspension without pay" and will no longer be assigned to work with any Politico reporters when he returns.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday, however, after Vanity Fair published its report, that Ducklo was given a suspension instead of a firing because "it was not about an issue related to the White House or a White House policy or anything along those lines".

He was suspended for a week without pay after Vanity Fair reported that Mr Ducklo had made threats to a Politico reporter working on a piece about his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Vanity Fair reported Friday that in a conversation with Palmeri, who previously covered the White House as a correspondent for ABC News, Ducklo had "made derogatory and misogynistic comments" - including accusing her of being "jealous" of his relationship.

The apologies offered by her team, along with Ducklo's weeklong suspension, were "an important step to send the message that we don't find it acceptable", Psaki added.

In addition to being suspended for one week, she said he will no longer work with any reporters at Politico in his duties at the White House.

"I am 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 promise you I will fire you on the spot", Biden said at the time.

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".

Ducklo and McCammond said their relationship began in November, during the presidential campaign, when McCammond was covering Joe Biden and Ducklo was Biden's chief spokesman.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Mr. "No ifs, ands, or buts", Biden said. "It doesn't meet the president's standard".

Psaki also stated that the president was not involved in the decision, which was made by her with the permission of White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

In fact, Psaki admitted that she did not discuss the incident with Biden. Here is the extent of coverage found on the website, authored not by McCammond, but by political reporter Hans Nichols.

On her first day behind the podium, Psaki told reporters, "I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy and for the role all of you play".

"It was important that we took a step to make that clear", she said.

"It feels like she is punishing us more than him", one of the staffers said, noting that her solution is for Politico reporters to lose access to one of the highest ranking officials in the White House communications department.



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