Joe Biden Violates His Own Zero-Tolerance Misconduct Policy by NOT Firing TJ Ducklo

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On his first day in office, Joe Biden announced a zero-tolerance policy for those in his administration who treat others disrespectfully. “I’m not joking when I say this,” Biden said. “But, if you’re ever working with me and I hear you treated another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot…on the spot! No ifs, ands, or buts.”

On Friday, PJ Media’s Jim Treacher reported that T.J. Ducklo, Biden’s deputy press secretary, threatened Politico reporter Alexi McCammond, who was writing a story about Ducklo’s relationship with an Axios reporter. Ducklo reportedly told McCammond, “I will destroy you,” and made other misogynistic comments to her.

“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President,” said Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”

TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.

— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021

With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.

— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021

Suspended? What happened to “if … I hear you treated another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot…on the spot! No ifs, ands, or buts”? T.J. Ducklo most certainly violated Joe Biden’s zero-tolerance policy for misconduct. But he got a one-week suspension? Big deal. That’s a slap on the wrist.

It was always hard to take Joe Biden’s threat to fire anyone over misconduct seriously, especially given the multiple misconduct accusations made against him over the years, but Joe Biden was given an opportunity to demonstrate that his word is his word and to make an example out of T.J. Ducklo as a warning to those serving in his administration that he actually meant what he said. Now the message is clear: misconduct, including threatening a reporter and misogyny, will only get you a slap on the wrist.