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 March 13, 2024

Staffers say a toxic work culture in Biden's team could threaten his reelection prospects

Insiders leaked word that they are worried that a culture of conflict and abuse within the administration could jeopardize President Joe Biden's reelection bid, Politico reported. Members of his advance team, which is responsible for handling his campaign events, are increasingly at odds.

With the 2024 presidential election just months away, speeches and other campaign stops are essential to Biden's reelection strategy. However, trouble is brewing behind the scenes for the people responsible for coordinating, scheduling, and executing those events.

After speaking to "18 current and former White House staffers and people who have worked directly with it," Politico has uncovered shocking allegations about the advance team that indicate serious problems. One such allegation involves the former associate director of presidential advance, Ian Mellul.

Staffers have accused him of verbally harassing staffers and mistreating underlings. The situation is so serious that the White House Counsel’s Office launched an investigation into Mellul's conduct.

A Toxic Work Environment

Insiders said Mellul resigned on March 1 because of the allegations. Additionally, Brie Moore, the former director of press advance, also resigned in the weeks following the probe as her conduct was also cited as a contributing factor to the overall toxic mix.

Mellul has denied the staffers' allegations that he made "verbal threats" to them. "That is simply not true," Mullel claimed.

Some of those allegations include reports that he said he threatened to "ruin your life" if employees made any sort of missteps. It was routine for him to refer to underlings as "worthless" and "pieces of sh--" as he delegated personal tasks to the office interns.

“There’s a right and a wrong way to treat people in any business. You’re just not putting your best face forward for anybody if you’re just lashing out at people, barking commands, not treating people with respect, not treating people with dignity," one former White House advance team member told Politico, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The human resources department at the White House found merit in these claims as well. According to another source, Mellul was given executive coaching and management training last year.

The Threat to Biden's Reelection

With so much conflict in the team, other staffers are reluctant to help even when asked, four White House staffers said. This is a problem as Biden ramps up his public appearances that require added support and cooperation.

This internal strife also presents an image problem for Biden. At the beginning of his administration, Biden made a promise that he would not tolerate anyone disrespecting another staffer or member of the administration, Axios reported in January 2021.

"I’m not joking when I say this: If you’re 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," Biden said. "On the spot. No ifs or buts," he added.

That promise rings hollow in light of the situation with his advance team as well as with Biden's own conduct, Fox News reported. The president has been known to direct F-bombs at aides, while one official noted that "no one is safe" from Biden's explosive anger.

Biden's prospects for reelection are diminishing by the day already based on his policies. However, the conduct of his staff and of the president may yet be his undoing.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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