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Journalists Fume Over White House Press Aide TJ Ducklo’s Suspension: ‘He Needs to Be Fired’

Reporters nationwide decry Ducklo’s conduct, demand his removal from White House press duties

Reporters weighed in on the suspension of deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo Friday, and many questioned if he’d be fired after threatening to “destroy” a Politico reporter who was looking into his relationship with another member of the press.

Reporters were quick to point out that after his inauguration, President Biden claimed he would have a zero-tolerance policy regarding staff misconduct. This policy didn’t seem to be enforced with Ducklo, who was just suspended without pay for a week.

“We’ll need way more than a tweet to claim anyone’s being even held remotely accountable,” journalist and Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway tweeted Friday. “President Biden received adulatory coverage from the media when he claimed he had zero tolerance for disrespectful behavior from his employees. Was that true? Has TJ Ducklo been fired yet?”

“I covered Donald Trump for six years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me,” New York Magazine political reporter Olivia Nuzzi wrote on Twitter.

According to a report from Vanity Fair, Ducklo told Politico Playbook reporter Tara Palmieri “I will destroy you” and accused Palmeri of being “jealous” of his relationship with Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond. When Ducklo found out about the story, he reportedly called Palmeri to berate her, but not her male colleagues also assigned to reporting the story.

Ducklo was suspended  after the news broke Friday, and the White House said that Ducklo won’t work with Politico reporters in the future.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the incident in a statement, and called the exchange between Ducklo and Palmeri a “heated conversation about his personal life.” Psaki defended Ducklo but did acknowledge that his conduct wasn’t to the standard that President Joe Biden set on his first day in office.

Check out more reactions from the media on Ducklo’s conduct below.