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 June 17, 2023

Biden names controversial former White House aide T.J. Ducklo to his campaign team

The Hill reports that President Joe Biden has controversially named former White House aide T.J. Ducklo to his 2024 campaign team.

Biden, in doing so, appears to be going against his promise to “fire” those who disrespect others.

Biden made the promise back in January 2021 during a ceremony in which he swore in a large number of his appointees.

There, he said:

But, 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. On the spot. No ifs, ands or buts. Everybody... everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. That's been missing in a big way the last four years.

Early on, Ducklo was the deputy press secretary of the Biden White House. But, he ended up resigning in February 2021. The resignation stemmed from a controversial situation that took place between a reporter and Ducklo.

The reporter - Tara Palmeri - at the time, was with Politico and she was writing a story based on Ducklo’s relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who was covering the Biden 2020 presidential campaign.

Vanity Fair, in February 2021, reported:

The confrontation began on Inauguration Day, January 20, after Palmeri, a coauthor of Politico’s Playbook, contacted McCammond for comment while one of her male colleagues left a message for Ducklo, according to the sources. Ducklo subsequently called a Playbook editor to object to the story, but was told to call the Playbook reporters with his concerns. But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. “I will destroy you,” Ducklo told her, according to the sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.

In addition to this, it was reported that Ducklo accused Palmeri of being jealous of his relationship with McCammond.

Despite what Biden said during the January 2021 swearing-in ceremony, Ducklo was only given a 1-week suspension, though he did end up resigning.

Now, Biden is once again going back on his word by once again hiring Ducklo.

Ducklo, who has been working as the chief communications officer for Nashville Mayor John Cooper, is expected to leave that role and to join the Biden 2024 campaign in mid-July.

Ducklo will be based in Delaware as a senior communications adviser for the Biden campaign.

The Hill reports:

When there was talk of Ducklo joining the campaign in May, some Biden allies pushed back on the idea. Michael LaRosa, the former press secretary to first lady Jill Biden, accused the president’s team of being “tone-deaf” “in the post #MeToo, anti-bulling world,” Politico’s West Wing Playbook reported. But others, such as senior adviser Anita Dunn, defended him to Politico and said he took responsibility for his mistake.

It appears that what Biden said during that January 2021 swearing-in ceremony was just some more empty rhetoric.

Written By:
Oliver Winters

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