The Biden Administration received heavy criticism after announcing they would only suspend Deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo a week without making “derogatory and misogynistic comments” to female reporter Tara Palmeri. She had inquired about his alleged affair with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, in which he warned her not to publish the piece or that he would “destroy” her.
Just a few weeks earlier, President Joe Biden talked about the issue of harassment claims regarding his colleagues and had pledged to quickly fire those who were disrespectful to others. “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,” he said. That promise went out the window.
When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the contradicting actions of the Biden Administration, she dodged the question and claimed that Ducklo’s reprimands were “serious.” She said they were committed to meeting the standards set by the President in “treating others with dignity and respect” and felt the punishment was “appropriate at the time.”
Interestingly enough, Psaki admitted that the Biden Administration only addressed Ducklo’s behaviors after it went public. “There were conversations that occurred with the reporter, as well as editors at Politico, immediately after the conversation occurred. That was how we engaged in a private manner, and that was what we felt was appropriate at the time,” Psaki said.
It is quite alarming when, less than one month in, a top staffer in a new presidential administration is already embroiled in a scandal. What does that say about the views of the Biden Administration for refusing to fire him?
Ducklo apologized in a statement posted to Twitter Saturday and announced his departure from the White House. “No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior. I used language that no woman should ever have to hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job. It was language that was abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable,” he wrote.
Ducklo said he was “devastated” and “embarrassed” over his behavior and that he would not be returning from administrative leave. “I know this was terrible. I know I can’t take it back. But I also know I can learn from it and do better. This incident is not representative of who I am as a person, and I will be determined to earn back the trust of everyone I have let down because of my intolerable actions,” the statement concludes.
This is a failed administration in the making with a perfect example of who’s in Biden’s circle.