White House Assistant Secretary TJ Ducklo listens as Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.
Patrick Semansky | AP
President Joe Biden’s deputy press secretary at the White House was suspended for a week without pay after he reportedly threatened a reporter.
TJ Ducklo, who was also Biden’s campaign spokesman, was given a seven-day leave of absence after a Vanity Fair story that described a controversial conversation with a reporter. During that conversation, Ducklo allegedly said, “I will destroy you.”
According to the Vanity Fair story, White House officials were aware of Ducklo’s conversation with the reporter in January. The suspension comes hours after the Vanity Fair story is posted on Friday.
The reporter Ducklo allegedly threatened was investigating Ducklo’s relationship with an Axios reporter who had covered Biden.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a series of tweets on Friday that Ducklo has been suspended and can no longer speak to reporters at Politico.
Ducklo’s suspension comes weeks after Biden himself told a group of administrative officials that he would fire anyone who disrespected another colleague.
“I’m not kidding when I say this, if you ever work with me and I hear that you are treating another colleague with disrespect, speak to someone and I’ll fire you immediately. No ifs or buts,” Biden said last month .
Ducklo reportedly made derogatory and misogynistic comments to the Politico reporter, who is a woman.
Ducklo, who didn’t respond to CNBC’s request for comment, was previously an NBC employee.