President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has hired his disgraced former White House deputy press secretary, who had been fired for allegedly threatening and harassing a reporter.
The Biden campaign team has hired former White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo — who also served as the national press secretary for Biden’s 2020 campaign, and as the senior spokesman for the transition team — to serve on the 2024 campaign’s communications team.
In February 2021, Ducklo resigned after allegedly threatening then-Politico reporter Tara Palmeri during an off-the-record call. Ducklo allegedly told Palmeri that he would “destroy her” after he discovered that she was planning to report on the potential conflict of interest regarding his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond — considering his position at the White House and her position covering the White House.
Ducklo’s resignation came after one of Palmeri’s editors informed the White House about his remarks. However, according to Vanity Fair, White House officials criticized Palmeri for disclosing the remarks because Ducklo allegedly made them during an off-the-record conversation.
That conversation happened on the same day that Biden was inaugurated, where the president promised while swearing in his appointees that a White House employee will be fired “on the spot” if they engage in disrespectful behavior.
“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, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity,” Biden claimed.
Regarding Ducklo’s behavior, it appears that Biden was lying — as the White House only suspended the deputy press secretary. Ducklo ended up resigning just one day later, only two months into his tenure at the White House.
My statement on resigning from the White House. pic.twitter.com/3Jpiiv75vB
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) February 14, 2021
Ducklo was hired soon after as senior vice president of renowned New York-based public relations firm, Risa Heller Communications.
The Nashville, Tennessee native only worked for Heller’s firm for a year, then left to take the position of chief communications officer and senior advisor for Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D). However, Ducklo soon got himself in trouble again — as he was called out for mocking Metro City Council members in a since-deleted tweet.
“Tough night for the loudest voices in the room,” read Ducklo’s tweet in response to the council members’ outrage over a deal with the Tennessee Titans.
“This afternoon several members of the Metro Council, including myself sent a letter to @JohnCooper4Nash addressing the unprofessional, undignified, and uncivil behavior of Comms Director @TDucklo. If the @WhiteHouse won’t put up with it, neither should we,” read a tweet from Councilman Russ Bradford in response to Ducklo’s actions.
— Councilman Russ Bradford aka Mr. ✈️ (@Bradford4D13) December 22, 2022