03:55 GMT03 March 2021
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    Earlier in January, US President Joe Biden pledged to fire any staffer if they "treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone", adding that there would be "no ifs, ands, or buts".

    On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that one of her deputies, TJ Ducklo, had been suspended for a week after he reportedly threatened and humiliated Politico reporter Tara Palmeri because she was pursuing a story about his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

    According to the reports, Ducklo stated that he would "destroy" Palmeri, while also claiming that she was "jealous" because an unidentified male in the past sought to "f***" McCammond, not her.

    Psaki said that Ducklo sent an apology to Palmeri for a "heated conversation", and expressed his "profound regret."

    "He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President", Psaki tweeted, noting that her aide had been suspended without pay and will no longer work with Politico reporters.

    ​The move, however, drew frustration from some netizens, who said they expected the Biden administration to stick to its "higher standard", referring to a statement the president made in January.

    “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. No ifs, ands, or buts,” Biden said when he was swearing in his new appointees.

    ​Some argued that Biden's "no ifs, ands or buts" statement has not been technically violated, as Palmer was not Ducklo's colleague in terms of the work at the White House.

    ​Others, referring to Ducklo's health condition - he has 4 stage cancer - said that it could be problematic to instantly fire him.

    Some users recalled the previous administration and compared it to the current one.

    ​​Relations between Ducklo and McCammond have been strained before, and described, according to reports, as Washington's "worst-kept secret", raising eyebrows due to a conflict of interest, as McCammond, who covered Biden's campaign, was reassigned by Axios to write about "progressive lawmakers" in Congress and Vice President Kamala Harris.

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    Tags:
    misogyny, reporter, Politico, Jen Psaki, White House, Joe Biden, US
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