Press secretary Jen Psaki announced the suspension on Friday, after Vanity Fair reported that Ducklo threatened a Politco reporter off the record when she reached out to him to confirm his relationship with a reporter who works for Axios.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Ducklo's suspension on Friday, after the Vanity Fair piece was published, and called Ducklo's behavior "completely unacceptable".
His personal life came under scrutiny earlier this week when Politico reported on his relationship with a reporter.
Palmeri wrote this week about possible conflicts of interest in covering the Biden administration for Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who's dating Ducklo. Ducklo on the arrangement, he lashed out at one of their female reporters, making "derogatory and misogynistic comments", threatening to "destroy" her and ruin her reputation if she published details of the relationship, according to Vanity Fair.
Psaki said Ducklo has sent the reporter "a personal note professing his profound regret". She added that when he returns from suspension he will no longer work with any reporters at Politico.
Despite President Joe Biden's warning last month that he would fire staffers "on the spot" if they were disrespectful to others, Ducklo was merely suspended without pay for a week and told to apologize.
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 sources.
But the Biden White House sought to strike a more cordial and professional tone with the Washington press corps from the start, installing a cadre of seasoned Washington communicators led by Psaki. "No ifs, ands, or buts", the president warned. "It doesn't meet the president's standard".
Psaki, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and Anita Dunn, director of West Wing operations, were all reportedly involved in conversations with Politico editors about the incident.
In fact, Psaki admitted that she did not discuss the incident with Biden.
"I used language that no woman should ever hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job", Ducklo said.
"We are committed to striving every day to meet the standard set by the President in treating others with dignity and respect, with civility and with a value for others through our words and our actions", Ms Psaki said. Please take a minute to sign up to our mailing list so we can stay in touch with you, our community.
"It was important that we took a step to make that clear and that included not just an apology directly from him and apologies directly from us at the highest levels there, but also a step to suspend him for one week without pay", Psaki continued. So, those were the steps that were taken, and we felt it was a serious punishment.